The management of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra announced on Wednesday the appointment of Nathalie Stutzmann as musical director for a period of 4 years starting from the 2022/223 season. The French conductor and contralto thus becomes the second woman to take up this prestigious position at the head of a large American orchestra.

Marin Alsop was the 1time woman conducting to conduct a large orchestra in the United States

The fall had not started well for Nathalie Stutzmann who was due to make her debut from September 29 to October 15 at the Met Opera to conduct there. Iphigenia in Tauride but the Covid-19 pandemic and the social movements that agitated the New York institution led to the cancellation of the lyric tragedy of Christoph Willibald Gluck. A disappointment quickly digested by the 56-year-old French conductor appointed on October 13 at the head of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO).

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A first for a French conductor who also becomes the 2e woman appointed head of one of the 25 largest American orchestras after Marin Alsop, musical director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from 2007 to 2021. Nathalie Stutzmann has been appointed for a four-year term starting in 2022. She succeeds to Robert Spano, who has conducted the Atlanta Great Orchestra for 20 years, and has pledged to spend at least 10 weeks a year in Georgia’s capital.

Nathalie Stutzmann studied conducting with Seiji Ozawa and Sir Simon Rattle

Born in 1965 in Suresnes, daughter of lyrical artists, Nathalie Stutzmann began her studies of piano, bassoon, cello, singing at a very young age and studied conducting with the Finnish teacher Jorma Panula and with prestigious maestros such as Seiji Ozawa and Sir Simon Rattle. At the same time, she continued her career as an opera singer. Renowned contralto, she has made more than 80 recordings and received the most prestigious awards. Since 2018, Nathalie Stutzmann has also been Principal Conductor of the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra (Norway) and, since early 2021, Principal Guest Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

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Regarding her nomination to Atlanta, Nathalie Stutzmann said “There is a special chemistry between the Orchestra and me. The devoted commitment of ASO musicians to music touches my heart. They have a nice open mind, and they like to work hard, take on challenges and take the risk of serving music to bring the highest levels of emotion to their audience ”. Nathalie Stutzmann will also work closely with the ASO choir, which she will conduct in March 2022 during a concert which will feature the Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart et Death and transfiguration, the symphonic poem by Richard Strauss.

Philippe Gault

Retropen the news of Classic

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