Nathalie Stutzmann

Conductor Nathalie Stutzmann will be the first woman to hold the title of music director with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

The ASO announced Oct. 13 that Stuzmann, the principal guest conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra and chief conductor of Norway’s Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, will take over the role currently held by Robert Spano.

She will conduct performances of Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony tonight and tomorrow, Oct. 14, and a program of Mozart and Strauss next March.

Stutzmann is only the second woman to lead a major American orchestra, following in the footsteps of trailblazer Marin Alsop, who recently stepped down as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In Atlanta, Stutzmann follows past ASO Music Directors Henry Sopkin, Robert Shaw, Yoel Levi and Robert Spano.

“It is a privilege to be named Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,” Stutzmann said. “The devoted commitment to music of the ASO musicians touches my heart. They have beautiful open minds, and they love to work hard, to be challenged and to take the necessary risks to serve the music and bring the highest levels of emotion to their audience.”

Stutzmann, the daughter of opera singers and a contralto herself, said she is also excited to work with the ASO Chorus.

“It is also very important for us to connect with the Atlanta community, sharing our infectious love of music. Fulfilling the community’s hopes and expectations is a huge responsibility and a legacy that I am honored to continue,” she said.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.