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Donald Runnicles has extended his contract as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s principal guest conductor for one year, through the 2011-12 season.

For the past nine years he has conducted about four weeks each season, and many of these concerts have been highlights of the entire musical year. After the official contract ends, Runnicles will continue to conduct the ASO for two weeks each season.

Born in Scotland, educated in England and Germany, Runnicles is also music director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and chief conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony and music director of the summertime Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming. He started at the ASO as principal guest iconductor in 2001, at the same time Robert Spano started as music director.

“I have such confidence in both this orchestra and Robert’s leadership, and look forward to continuing our musical partnership,” Runnicles said in a statement.

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