‘Reborn’ Atlanta Symphony Begins Season With Mahler Classic

Angela Morris / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

On Thursday, Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center opens its doors for the first Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert of the 2015-16 season.

The featured work is Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, also known as the Resurrection Symphony, which bears a certain bit of irony.

This time last year, the entry doors were locked, and members of the ASO stood outside, dressed in concert black, for a moment of deafening silence.

After a lockout and arduous negotiations between musicians and management that led to a delayed start, ASO music director Robert Spano is optimistic about the organization’s future.

“City Lights” host Lois Reitzes recently spoke with Spano about the opening weekend program, this year’s Robert Shaw centenary and where the ASO is heading at the start of a new season.

He said the orchestra is in the process of filling open positions, including 11 that have been restored since the work stoppage.

The ASO also has hired a new executive director, Emory University graduate Jennifer Barlament, who begins in January.

“It’s an inspiring time,” Spano said.

He said the selection of the Resurrection Symphony was incidental to the ASO’s labor issues, but he added that “it’s a beautiful way to start the year. In so many ways, we are reborn.”