The 2020 Atlanta Festival Academy
The Atlanta Festival Academy maintains its position as the first international two-week classical music festival hosted in the Southeast, and will again attract young musicians, renowned instructors, and world-class performers from around the globe.
The festival will continue to be packed with master classes, lectures, workshops, as well as private lessons, chamber music, and orchestra coachings by celebrated teachers from Asia, the Americas, and Europe.
The 2019 edition of the festival culminated with two concerts featuring Menuhin Competition winner Chloe Chua. These concerts thrilled nearly two thousand audience members and highlighted works by Mendelssohn, Bartok, Dvorak, and other great composers. We feel sure that the 2020 festival concerts will again delight and engage concert-goers and festival participants alike.
AFA Co-Founder William Pu Honored by Georgia Secretary of State
Congratulations to Atlanta Festival Academy co-founder William Pu, who was honored during the 2019 AFA opening ceremony as an Outstanding Citizen of Georgia. Mr. Pu received this Award from the Secretary of State, Mr. Brad Raffensperger, and it was presented by the secretary’s special ambassador, Mr. Roger Wise, Jr. This award is a recognition of the effort and commitment put in by everyone associated with the Atlanta Festival Academy in order to create a classical music festival unrivaled by any other in the Southeast.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Conductor Stephen Mulligan to Join AFA Faculty In July 2020
The Atlanta Festival Academy excitedly welcomes conductor Stephen Mulligan to our faculty for the upcoming 2020 edition of the festival. Maestro Mulligan currently serves as Assistant Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as well as Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. We can’t wait to experience the energy and musicality he will share with our Festival Orchestra participants. You can find his bio here.
Conductor Stephen Mulligan was appointed as the Assistant Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and the Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra in August 2017. From 2014-2016, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Orchestras Program.
Recent highlights include his ASO Classical Subscription debut in January of 2018 and appearances with the St. Louis Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, and Reading Symphony Orchestra. Mulligan has also frequently assisted with programs at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, including productions of Bernstein’s West Side Story at the Hollywood Bowl and John Adams’s Nixon in Chinaat Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Mulligan was awarded the Aspen Conducting Prize after studying with Robert Spano as a fellow in the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen from 2013-2014; he served as the festival’s Assistant Conductor in 2015 and as a guest conductor in 2016. Mulligan also studied with Gustav Meier, Markand Thakar, and Marin Alsop at the Peabody Institute, and received his Master’s Degree there in 2013. While studying at Peabody, Mulligan co-founded and directed the Occasional Symphony, an ensemble devoted to performing in alternative venues. In 2012, he traveled to Venezuela with the Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKids staff to participate in an educational exchange with the renowned El Sistema program.
In 2011, Mulligan graduated cum laude from Yale University, where he served as the Yale Symphony’s assistant conductor, traveled to Helsinki to study Sibelius’s late manuscripts with a grant from the Mellon Foundation, and was awarded the Wrexham Prize for excellence in performance for violin and conducting. Mulligan grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, studying violin with his father Gregory, former concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony and current violinist with the Baltimore Symphony.
2019 International Shining Stars Concert
On July 27, 2019, at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, the Atlanta Festival Academy kicked off its performance series with the “International Shining Stars” concert.
The concert featured Chloe Chua performing her famous interpretation of “Winter,” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, which had already reached more than two million views on YouTube. Other young musicians from the Atlanta Festival Academy joined Chloe on stage, including winners of various international competitions from China, Singapore, and United States.
2019 Atlanta Festival Academy Finale Concert
The Finale concert again featured 12-year-old violin sensation Chloe Chua as soloist with performances of Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Bela Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances, and showcased the two orchestras of the Atlanta Festival Academy on stage at the brand new Byers Theater at Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center on July 30, 2019.
Atlanta Festival Academy expresses its special and sincere thanks to WePartner and Atlanta Chinese Entrepreneurs Club for their generous Concert Sponsorships that made both of these inaugural AFA Concerts possible.