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First woman appointed to serve Atlanta Symphony Orchestra music director

Nathalie Stutzmann is only the second to lead a major American orchestra.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra appointed its first woman music director this season. Nathalie Stutzmann will serve as the ensemble's fifth music director and will begin a four-year term beginning next fall. 

The New York Times reports she's the only woman in the country leading one of the 25 largest orchestras.

According to a news release, she is the first woman to serve as director in the orchestra's history and only the second to lead a major American orchestra. Stutzmann is currently the principal guest conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Chief conductor of Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in Norway. 

"There is a special chemistry between the orchestra and me that we all immediately recognized, and this is the perfect time for us to deepen our relationship, she said in the news release.

Credit: Simon Fowler

"It is also very important for us to connect with the Atlanta community, sharing our infectious love of music, Shutzmann added.

Stutzmann will make her first appearance as Music director designate on October 13 and 14 with a performance of Peter Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, Giuseppe Verdi's La forza de destino overture, and the American premiere of Missy Mazzoli's Dark with Excessive Bright

Stutzmann will replace Robert Spano who has been music director of the ASO since 2001.