When I embrace music… I embrace greatness

About The Talent Development Program™

One of the cornerstones of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s education and community engagement efforts, the Talent Development Program (TDP) identifies musically-gifted and motivated African American and Latino youth in the greater metropolitan Atlanta area and prepares them for acceptance into top music programs in preparation for careers as professional musicians.

Each year, 25 students receive intensive year-round instruction, mentoring, performance opportunities, and biannual progress reviews, and have access to the resources of a major American orchestra. TDP students receive one-on-one coaching from Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians or highly qualified local instructors approved by the Orchestra. Additionally, students and their families are eligible to receive complimentary tickets to Atlanta Symphony subscription concerts to enhance their appreciation of the orchestral repertoire and the nuances of world-class musicianship. TDP students also participate in chamber ensembles and/or competitive large group ensembles, such as the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra. In addition, through the Azira G. Hill Scholarship Fund, the TDP provides financial assistance for students to attend leading summer music study programs.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Talent Development Program is the oldest year-round, intensive training program established by a major American orchestra to support talented young African American and Latino students of every orchestral instrument. TDP students will influence the orchestras of tomorrow as exceptional musicians who are role models and ambassadors for classical music throughout the community. 

Cultivating Success

Annually the TDP includes 25 students ranging from 5th to 12th grade, most of whom remain in the program through high school graduation. Cellist and TDP graduate Ismail Akbar recently secured a one-year appointment in the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, the second TDP graduate to secure a position with a professional orchestra. In 2007, bassist and TDP graduate Eric Thompson was appointed to a one-year position at the Charlotte Symphony — he now holds a permanent position there. In 2014, bassist and TDP graduate Xavier Foley was the Senior Division First Place Laureate of the 2014 Annual Sphinx Competition and performed as a soloist with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra at the Detroit Symphony Hall.

The excellence of the program is also reflected through TDP students becoming finalists in the national Sphinx Competition, featured guests on the NPR’s “From the Top,” as well as solo performers with the ASO in National Black Arts Festival concerts, donor appreciation concerts, and the ASO’s King Celebration concerts. TDP students comprise a significant segment of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and regularly place in the top All-State ensembles (many in principal positions).


  • ASO

    Perianes Returns To Play Schumann, Guest Conductor Zagrosek Conducts Brahms First Symphony

    Thu May 05, 2016 | 8:00 PM

    Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage is a lovely Romantic orchestral work, inspired by two Goethe poems. Schumann’s Concerto requires a virtuoso pianist of the first rank and displays a remarkable sense of collaboration between soloist and orchestra.

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  • ASO

    Casual Fridays: Zagrosek Conducts Mendelssohn

    Fri May 06, 2016 | 6:30 PM

    Mendelssohn's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage is a lovely Romantic orchestral work, inspired by two Goethe poems. We follow this with Brahms, a composer who spoke very much of Romantic lyricism, passion and grandeur. All tickets $25!

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  • ASO

    Perianes Returns To Play Schumann, Guest Conductor Zagrosek Conducts Brahms First Symphony

    Sat May 07, 2016 | 8:00 PM

    Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage is a lovely Romantic orchestral work, inspired by two Goethe poems. Schumann’s Concerto requires a virtuoso pianist of the first rank and displays a remarkable sense of collaboration between soloist and orchestra.

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  • ASO

    ASYO Finale Concert

    Sun May 08, 2016 | 3:00 PM

    Meet the next generation of stars before they hit it big. Each year, the 120 dynamic and talented young artists of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra (ASYO) energetically tackle masterworks of classical and modern music under the baton of Joseph Young.

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  • ASO

    Broadway's Golden Age

    Fri May 13, 2016 | 8:00 PM

    The large, lush arrangements for a Broadway Orchestra and chorus are no more, but the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its world famous Chorus keep the tradition alive with an evening of Broadway classics from its Golden Age.

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  • ASO

    Morris Robinson Community Recital

    Sat May 14, 2016 | 2:00 PM

    Bass Morris Robinson, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's 2015-16 Artist-in-Residence, presents a free recital of pieces that reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • ASO

    Broadway's Golden Age

    Sat May 14, 2016 | 8:00 PM

    The large, lush arrangements for a Broadway Orchestra and chorus are no more, but the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its world famous Chorus keep the tradition alive with an evening of Broadway classics from its Golden Age.

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  • ASO

    Broadway's Golden Age

    Sun May 15, 2016 | 3:00 PM

    The large, lush arrangements for a Broadway Orchestra and chorus are no more, but the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its world famous Chorus keep the tradition alive with an evening of Broadway classics from its Golden Age.

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  • ASO

    Chamber Recital

    Thu May 19, 2016 | 6:45 PM

    Join us for a complimentary Chamber recital featuring our talented Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians.

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  • ASO

    Joseph Young Conducts Naughton Twins in Night of Mozart and the Romeo and Juliet Suite

    Thu May 19, 2016 | 8:00 PM

    Mozart probably composed the Concerto for Two Pianos to perform with his sister, Nannerl.

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  • ASO

    Reinhardt University

    Fri May 20, 2016 | 8:00 PM

    A night of Mozart and the Romeo and Juliet Suite.

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  • ASO

    Joseph Young Conducts Naughton Twins in Night of Mozart and the Romeo and Juliet Suite

    Sat May 21, 2016 | 8:00 PM

    Mozart probably composed the Concerto for Two Pianos to perform with his sister, Nannerl.

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  • ASO

    Side-By-Side Concert with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra

    Thu May 26, 2016 | 8:00 PM

    The 2016 Side-By-Side Concert repertoire will include the first movement from Violin Concerto No. 2 by Prokofiev performed by ASYO Concertmaster, Malhar Kute, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

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  • ASO

    Music of Elton John

    Fri May 27, 2016 | 8:00 PM

    Come close the Pops! season and say Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. This will be your last chance to Crocodile Rock with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on your 15/16 Pops! Season. Bring your friends Bennie and the Jets and sing Your Song along with Michael Cavanaugh, a Rocket Man of an entertainer.

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  • ASO

    Music of Elton John

    Sat May 28, 2016 | 8:00 PM

    Come close the Pops! season and say Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. This will be your last chance to Crocodile Rock with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on your 15/16 Pops! Season. Bring your friends Bennie and the Jets and sing Your Song along with Michael Cavanaugh, a Rocket Man of an entertainer.

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  • ASO

    Music of Elton John

    Sun May 29, 2016 | 3:00 PM

    Come close the Pops! season and say Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. This will be your last chance to Crocodile Rock with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on your 15/16 Pops! Season. Bring your friends Bennie and the Jets and sing Your Song along with Michael Cavanaugh, a Rocket Man of an entertainer.

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