By Pierre Ruhe
Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, Donald Runnicles conducting the Atlanta Symphony. The orchestra’s principal guest conductor, always interesting, has deepened into a profound interpreter, and the orchestra played for him with super-charged emotion. April.
Osvaldo Golijov’s “Azul,” a spectacularly cosmic and serene cello concerto performed by Yo-Yo Ma and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. A new masterpiece. May.
From Bach to Haydn, music that spanned the 18th century performed by New Trinity Baroque, Atlanta’s risk-taking early-music troupe. September.
Hindustani classical music performed by sitar player Kakali Bandyopadhyay, an associate artist at Emory University, and table player Anjaneya Sastry. Charismatic performers restoring ancient sounds from India. Bliss. September.
“Rapido! A 14-day Composition Contest,” was a nifty idea from the Atlanta Chamber Players: a contest to write music on deadline for a cash award and a future commission. And the best work won: Jon Grier’s “Rapid Variations on A-C-P.” October.
Soprano Christine Brewer and pianist Craig Rutenberg opened Spivey Hall’s 19th season. Gargantuan yet subtle, Brewer’s sound is rich and silken in tone. She’s an ASO regular, but here in recital she was in the best voice I’ve ever heard her. October.
Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” starred the celebrated countertenor David Daniels, now an Atlanta resident, making his Atlanta Opera debut. Thanks to a strong cast — with Katherine Whyte as Euridice and Deanne Meek as Amore — it was the most satisfying effort in the Atlanta Opera’s 30-year history. November.
Brahms’ “A German Requiem” is music central to the ASO and Chorus. Under conductor Runnicles they performed it in three full spiritual dimensions. (And for the chorus and conductor, the show was a warm-up for concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic in Germany.) November.
Sonic Generator’s “French-American Connection” offered wild, imaginative and unexpectedly stirring contemporary music, all with a technology component. November.
“Dual Synthesis” is New York composer Tristan Perich’s quirky, original work for harpsichord and primitive, 1-bit electronics. Performed at Eyedrum, it induced euphoria in the listener. December.
Pierre Ruhe blogs about the arts on www.ArtsCriticATL.com