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Culture notes: ASO releases all-Rachmaninov CD; Ben Johnson honored for ASO, Woodward work; Ludwig Symphony’s season opener

ASO releases all-Rachmaninov CD

Music director Robert Spano will conduct the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a program including Rachmaninov’s Piano Concert No. 3, featuring Garrick Ohlsson, at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Nov. 5. Atlantans can preview the performance by the ASO and Ohlsson in a CD released this week,10/25 its third on its own label, ASO Media. Also on the all-Rachmaninov release is Spano leading the ASO in “Symphonic Dances.” HOWARD POUSNER

Johnson honored for ASO, Woodward leadership
Ben F. Johnson III will be honored as the 2011 Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year by the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Association of FundraisingCQ Professionals at the association’s annual luncheon on Nov. 8.

Johnson, who served as board chair of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for three years, was nominated by the ASO and Woodward Academy. The retired Alston & Bird attorney and managing partner is in his 31st year as chairman of Woodward’s governing board.

“Ben’s passion for this orchestra’s artistry, education programs, and community engagement initiatives are always at the forefront of his actions, whether in the boardroom, the concert hall, or a meeting with potential donors and foundations,” ASO president Stanley Romanstein said in a statement. “Despite the challenges we all face in this economy, he has been a leader who looks ahead with confidence and excitement.” HOWARD POUSNER

Ludwig Symphony opens 2011-12 season Nov. 19
The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra opens its 14th season on Nov. 19 with an “International Gala Festival” at the Performing Arts Center at Duluth’s Gwinnett Center.

Conducted by Thomas Ludwig, the 7:30 p.m. performance features: Chinese pianist Ning An interpreting Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1; soprano Maria Clark singing arias by Mozart, Bellini and Korngold; violinist Angela Kim, a Johns Creek High School senior, performing the finale of Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3; and 9-year-old ballet dancer Ellie Wong performing the tambourine dance from Pugni’s “La Esmeralda,” accompanied by the orchestra.

Tickets ($19, seniors $17, students $10) available via 770-623-8623, HOWARD POUSNER

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