The Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra is a volunteer community orchestra whose members are not limited by sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra provides culturally and socially enriching, enjoyable experiences that cultivate an appreciation of music and the performing arts in the metro Atlanta area. We bring together people with diverse life experiences and, through this shared purpose, create an environment that fosters understanding among the variety of communities represented by our members, audiences, and artistic partners.
Regular rehearsals are held Tuesday nights at North Decatur Presbyterian Church off Scott Blvd. in Decatur from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. Additional rehearsals are scheduled during the week preceding concerts.
The APO was founded in December 2004 when four instrumentalists and a choral director met with the idea of forming an all-inclusive GLBT orchestra in metro Atlanta, inspired by a similar ensemble in Minneapolis. The first rehearsal was held in January, and the inaugural concert was conducted at St. Mark United Methodist Church in November 2005 under the baton of Mitch Weisiger.
The Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra is a 501(c)3 organization registered under the legal name GLBTS Symphony Orchestra of Atlanta.
Mirna Ogrizovic, was born in Croatia, but grew up in Belgrade, Serbia, where she received her violin performance degree from the School of Music, Belgrade University of Arts. She also received a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from Georgia State University in Atlanta, and earned her doctorate degree in conducting from the University of Georgia.
Mirna’s conducting experience includes the University Philharmonia of UGA, as well as the UGA Symphony Orchestra. For her work at UGA she was recognized with the Director’s Excellence Award. She also conducted the ARCO chamber orchestra in a Carnegie Hall performance, and recorded a CD with the same orchestra and violinist Levon Ambartsumian as soloist in music by renowned Russian composer Mikhail Bronner.
Before she moved to the United States (in 2001), she was Associate Concertmaster of the Symphonic Orchestra of the Serbian Radio Television in Belgrade, the Associate Artistic Director of the Ensemble of the Studio for Early Music, and a soloist of the Ensemble Renaissance.
Mirna has received numerous awards in national and international competitions, including the silver medal at the international violin competition in Stresa, Italy. She recorded several CDs with Atlanta based, period instrument ensemble, New Trinity Baroque.
Mirna is a member of the Balkan Quartet (in residence at Georgia Perimeter College), which recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She teaches violin, viola, and chamber music at Berry College in Rome, GA, and conducts the Oak Hill Symphony Orchestra.
Amy Wilson is a promising young conductor who has conducted orchestras throughout the United States, Mexico, and Europe. Currently, she is the Conductor of the Mercer / Macon Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Assistant Conductor of the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra. For two seasons she was the Apprentice Conductor of the Macon Symphony Orchestra and the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Mercer University Orchestra. This past summer Robert Spano invited her to observe the Aspen Music Festival and School and to study with him. In May of 2010, she graduated with her second Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from Mercer University. Recently, she guest conducted the Ocmulgee Symphony Orchestra, the Warner Robins Air Force Band, the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Yakima Symphony Chamber Orchestra.
Teachers who have instructed Ms. Wilson include such distinguished conductors as Robert Spano, Adrian Gnam,Gustav Meier, Jesús López-Cobos, Anshel Brusilow, and Wayne Wyman. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; and she received her first Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the University of North Texas. While at the University of North Texas she conducted the University of North Texas Repertoire Orchestra and the Flower Mound Progressive Orchestra. She has also been the assistant conductor of the Harrisburg Opera and the assistant conductor for the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestras.Ms. Wilson’s career goals include conducting professional orchestras and operas, as well as teaching conducting to upcoming generations.
A native of Turkey, Betül took her first music lessons at the age of seven in Izmir State Conservatory. Some of her mentors were world-renowned violinists and pedagogues, including Iwona Wojciehowska and the great Romanian virtuoso Ion Voicu. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she was admitted to the Conservatoire Bern in Switzerland, with a full scholarship, to study with Ulrich Lehmann. She received a special distinction award for her Concert Diploma recital as well as first prize in the Concerto Competition of Switzerland, and, as a result of this competition, was chosen to perform Samuel Barber’s violin concerto with the Bern Symphony Orchestra. She has taken part in master classes and performed with world renowned musicians such as Vladimir Spivakov, Igor Ozim, Trio di Trieste, Stanislav Apolin, and Rudolf Baumgartner.
Betül continues to perform regularly as a soloist, in chamber music, and with many orchestras throughout Europe and the United States. She is honored to have performed in some of the most prestigious halls around the world: Spivey Hall,Tonhalle, Concertgebouw, Grand Casino Symphony Hall Bern, Teatro dei Rozzi, etc. She also had the privilege to perform with popular pop/jazz artists Sarah Brightman, Ray Charles, Smoky Robinson, Irish Tenors, and others.
Betül is a faculty member of violin/viola, chamber music, and string pedagogy at Clayton State University and currently directs two high school orchestras in metro Atlanta. Her private students have won many competitions and auditions as well as admissions to universities.
Betül’s recording of Cesar Frank's Sonata and other pieces by Swiss com- posers, available through Eroica Records, has been very well received in Europe. On this recording is Sonata by Melchior Ulrich, which is dedicated to her and was premiered in Switzerland in 1995.