Celebrating its 72nd season, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra continues to affirm its position as one of America’s leading orchestras with excellent live performances, renowned guest artists and engaging education initiatives, all under Music Director Robert Spano and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles. As the cornerstone for artistic development in the Southeast, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs a full schedule of more than 150 concerts each year, including educational and community concerts, for a combined audience of more than half a million people. The Orchestra and its audiences have together explored a creative mix of programming, including the Atlanta School of Composers, which reflects Mr. Spano and the Orchestra’s commitment to nurturing and championing music through multi-year partnerships defining a new generation of American composers. In addition, the Orchestra’s Music Director since 2001, Robert Spano, was named Musical America 2008 Conductor of the Year. During its 33-year history with Telarc, the Orchestra and Chorus have recorded more than 100 albums and its recordings have won 27 GRAMMY(r) Awards in categories including Best Classical Album, Best Orchestral Performance, Best Choral Performance, and Best Opera Performance. The Orchestra continues to record regularly on its new in-house label, ASO Media, which demonstrates the Orchestra’s commitment to celebrating classical masterworks while continuing to perform, commission, premiere, and record works by today's leading composers.