The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is an American orchestra based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Robert Spano has been its music director since 2001. The ASO’s main concert venue is Atlanta Symphony Hall in the Woodruff Arts Center.
Though earlier organizations bearing the same name date back as far as 1923, the Orchestra was officially founded in 1945 and played its first concert as the Atlanta Youth Symphony under the direction of Henry Sopkin, a Chicago music educator who remained its conductor until 1966.
The organization changed to its current name in 1947 and soon began attracting well known soloists such as Isaac Stern and Glenn Gould. In 1967, with the departure of Sopkin, Robert Shaw (founder of the Robert Shaw Chorale) became the Music Director, and a year later the orchestra became full-time.