The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is planning a “reimagined” start its 2020-21 season thanks to the ongoing pandemic, with musicians playing live on stage while the audience watches from home on the ASO Virtual Stage platform.

The programs will be comprised of smaller orchestral ensembles and will feature Music Director Robert Spano, Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles, selected guest conductors and artists, and ASO members as soloists.

Featured guest artists will include violinist Gil Shaham, pianist Louis Lortie, double-bassist and Talent Development Program alumnus Xavier Foley, as well as Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians Principal Cello Rainer Eudeikis and Principal Bassoon Andrew Brady.

“Our patrons, donors and subscribers have shared with us how much they need the music of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, now more than ever, just as our musicians have expressed how important it is to bring comfort and connection to people during these uncertain times,” said ASO Executive Director Jennifer Barlament, “At this time, the safest way to perform and engage with our community is through virtual performances. These programs are just the first phase of reimagining the fall season; stay tuned for announcements of smaller outdoor performances with live socially distanced audiences.”

The switch to streaming performances means the annual Symphony Gala set for September has been cancelled, along with Christmas with the ASO and Handel’s “Messiah” in December. The ASO said it is working on “reimagined” holiday programming for the virtual platform.

“As musicians, our greatest joy is to share our love of music with our audiences, and we have missed them terribly,” said Robert Spano, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director. “We’ve also missed gathering on stage to make music together. We can’t wait to connect with all of you again this fall, even if it’s done virtually. We’re thrilled to feature several of our principal musicians as well as an incredible Talent Development Program alumnus. We look forward to welcoming music lovers not only from Atlanta, but from around the world, to our Virtual Stage this fall.”

The ASO is investing in and installing a new robotic camera system at Atlanta Symphony Hall, which will allow for a steady stream of content with enhanced audio and video quality.

The ASO said it will continue to monitor COVID-19 numbers and make an announcement by year’s end regarding concerts scheduled for January through June 2021.

Visit for more details on the virtual season.