Mirageas began his symphony career in 1989 at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he worked as artistic administrator under famed conductor Seiji Ozawa. While in Boston, Mirageas also worked with Spano, who held the title of BSO assistant conductor.
“Evans has been a tremendous creative asset to the ASO,” Barlament wrote. “His long relationship with Robert Spano … has yielded a very special artistic partnership here in Atlanta for over a decade.”
Spano announced in January that he will step down from his full-time duties in 2021, and Mirageas and the rest of the ASO staff had just begun the process of finding a new artistic director. In an interview before the 2018-19 season opener, Mirageas talked about the early stages of the search process.
“The goal is always, who is that woman or man who will have that rare combination of great chemistry with our orchestra and will be able to be a 21st century American music director, which is more than just being a great conductor?” he explained.
Among other things, Mirageas said the new conductor must have a “charisma that will allow him or her to be a real advocate for the orchestra in the community.”
The ASO now has two significant positions to fill in the next few years. But even at the beginning of the season, Mirageas said he knew the symphony was on strong footing.
“I’ve been able to watch this orchestra for a decade, and that’s somewhat the blinking of an eye in the life of an orchestra,” he said. “What I see in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra of the 2018-19 season … now there is a kind of energy and enthusiasm in the players that speaks volumes to ‘yes, they’ve gone through hard times, but the orchestra is beginning to rebuild not only in the body of the players but in the confidence of its audience.’
“Any orchestra is in a constant state of renewal,” he continued. “Everybody has their time in the sun and everybody has a time of transition, and orchestras are the same.”
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In an episode from last spring, listen to Robert Spano talk about his career with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with AJC features reporter Bo Emerson. It is a revealing interview with the music director, whose career has spanned more than three decades.
>> accessAtlanta PODCAST: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Musical Director, Robert Spano