Atlanta Symphony’s Reid Harris to retire after 39 years as principal viola

Posted on: May 31, 2018

“Reid Harris has served as principal violist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 1979,” writes Mark Gresham in Wednesday’s (5/30) ArtsATL. “In that time, he’s been a featured soloist in works by Berlioz, Walton, Hindemith, Strauss, Mozart, Bartók, Telemann and Bach.… Prior to joining the ASO, he served as assistant principal violist with the Baltimore Symphony. Harris will step down after this season’s final subscription concert…. Q: In your tenure with the ASO, you played under three music directors. Harris: Robert Shaw hired me, and then I was on the two search committees that hired the next two music directors, Yoel Levi and Robert Spano. Robert Shaw was a great intellect…. When Robert Shaw did the Beethoven Ninth, there was something about Beethoven’s essence that he really conveyed.… Yoel Levi was one of the great technicians…. We did some incredible things like the recording of ‘The Rite of Spring.’ … Robert Spano never dictates to anyone how to play. He encourages; he draws the best out of you. I’ll never forget the first piece we did—which is also the last piece I will play with the Atlanta Symphony—Scheherazade, just blew us away.”

Posted May 31, 2018