Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to perform Mahler Tenth Symphony

ATHENS, Ga. —The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra returns to UGA Nov. 2 for a performance of Gustav Mahler’s masterful swan song, the Symphony No. 10. ASO principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles will conduct the 8 p.m. concert in the Performing Arts Center’s Hodgson Hall.

When Mahler died in 1911, only his widow knew of the existence of the Tenth Symphony. Mahler left his final opus only partially orchestrated, but its tragic melodies, its shape and substance were all on paper waiting to be snatched from the grave. In 1959 the English musician and musicologist Deryck Cooke began work on a performing version of the complete five-movement symphony. The world premiere of the Cooke performing edition of the Mahler Tenth occurred at a BBC Promenade Concert in 1964 with the London Symphony Orchestra. 

In addition to serving as principal guest conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Runnicles is also the general music director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and music director of the Grand Teton Music Festival. He was recently named conductor emeritus of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, having served as its chief conductor from 2009-2016. Runnicles’ recording of Wagner arias with tenor Jonas Kaufmann and the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin won the 2013 Gramophone prize for Best Vocal Recording and his recording of Janáček’s Jenůfa with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. He was appointed OBE in 2004.

A pre-performance talk will be given by Ken Meltzer, author of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s program notes and host of the weekly radio show, “Meet the Classics,” on Atlanta’s AM-1690. The talk begins at 7:15 p.m. in Ramsey Concert Hall in the Performing Arts Center.

Tickets for the concert start at $20 and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center box office, online at or by calling 706-542-4400. A limited number of discounted tickets are available to current UGA students for $6 to $10 with a valid UGA ID (limit one ticket per student).

The concert is sponsored by Libby V. and C. Van Morris, Merrell and Connie Calhoun and Lawrence and Mary Hepburn.

The ASO concert is part of Spotlight on the Arts, celebrating visual, literary and performing arts at UGA.