New to the Symphony?
Here at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, you will discover the magic of great music-making in classical, popular, holiday, and family concerts featuring one of America's finest ensembles, the Grammy® Award-winning ASO.
Expect to enjoy yourself. Let go of any ideas you may have about classical music or the concert experience. Open yourself up to the music.
Let it trigger your emotions — maybe even your memories. Feel the rhythms; follow the music. Watch the musicians and the conductor, and see how they interact with each other. Notice how the music ebbs and flows, surging and powerful at some times, delicate and ephemeral at others, and everything in between.
Classical music is all around us
In commercials, movie soundtracks, television themes, cartoons, retail shops, and even some elevators! Popular music often quotes classical melodies too. While you're listening in the concert to a piece you think you've never heard before, a tune you've heard a hundred times may jump out at you.
Whether or not you've heard the music before the concert, as you listen, you'll notice that each classical piece uses its own group of several tunes over and over, in different ways.
You'll start to recognize these melodies as a work in progress. Listen for the ways a melody is repeated: Is it exactly the same as the first time, or with a different character? Do the same instruments or different ones play the melody? Does it start the same as before, but go off in a different direction? Or start differently and surprise you by developing into the tune you recognize from earlier in the piece?
There is no dress code
Anything that makes you feel comfortable is fine. Most people will be wearing business clothes or slightly dressy casual clothes, but you'll see everything from khakis to cocktail dresses. Some people enjoy dressing up and making a special night of it, and you can too. Still, evening gowns and tuxedos are rare unless you're attending our annual Symphony Gala.
Plan to arrive 20 minutes before concert time
So you can find your seat, enjoy a cocktail, peruse the program, and begin your concert experience.
Out of respect for your fellow patrons and the musicians on the stage, we will ask late-comers to listen from the lobby until an usher is able to seat you during a suitable pause in the program.
“Inside the Music” Concert Previews
The Atlanta Symphony provides free concert previews before each Thursday classical subscription concert. "Inside the Music” previews take place in Symphony Hall (unless otherwise noted) on Thursday evenings, 7:00-7:30pm.
Most orchestra concerts are about 90 minutes to two hours long.
And include an intermission at the halfway point. Very often there will be several pieces on the program, but sometimes there is one single work played straight through. It's a good idea to take a look at the program before the concert so you know what to expect.
Most concerts include a 15-20 minute intermission.
At the beginning of the concert, the concertmaster takes the stage to the applause of the audience. After the orchestra tunes up, the conductor and possibly a soloist will follow and be greeted by applause.
Traditionally, the audience doesn't applaud again until the end of the piece. But this can be a little tricky because many pieces seem to end several times — they have several parts, or "movements," which are listed in your program. Above all, enjoy the performance.