The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra, now in its thirteenth season, offers opportunities for qualified musicians and soloists to perform locally at the highest level. The orchestra serves an ever growing, musically astute, culturally diverse community with exciting professional performances. Membership in the orchestra is by audition and invitation. The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1998 by conductor and composer, Thomas Ludwig. Maestro Ludwig has conducted world-class symphony, opera, and ballet company orchestras around the globe during an impressive 30 year career. Maestro Ludwig's original motivation was to develop an Atlanta youth orchestra to showcase and offer opportunity for his own three musically gifted children. The inaugural concert was held at the Performing Arts Studio at Emory University. Since then, the orchestra has grown to 85 paid professional and semi-professional adult musicians, and a small component of extraordinarily gifted high school string musicians. Maestro Ludwig is dedicated to helping aspiring student musicians build their resumes and experience by giving them the opportunity to perform alongside professionals. These students study under Maestro's baton three hours every Sunday afternoon. From Mozart to Mariachi, the Ludwig Symphony Orchestra thrills audiences by performing classical music mixed with the excitement of non-traditional performances. Every season Maestro Ludwig showcases a wide variety of local and internationally recognized soloists. To add uniqueness and a bit of fun to the program, Maestro has hosted guest conductors former Atlanta Falcons head coach Jerry Glanville, local Fox 5 TV News Anchor Amanda Davis, U.S. Congressman Tom Price, Roswell Mayor Jere Wood, and Wei Dongsheng principal dancer of the Atlanta Ballet. The orchestra experiences sold out performances every season. Maestro Ludwig's youth preparatory orchestra, the Beethoven Chamber Orchestra, is comprised of middle school string students. These rising stars are striving to be accepted into the student component of the Ludwig Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Ludwig is deeply committed to high quality musical education for young people. Recognizing the need for performance opportunities for young Atlanta student musicians, the Ludwig Symphony Orchestra in partnership with Northside Hospital sponsors Beethoven Chamber Orchestra performances in the Atrium of the Northside Hospital Women's Center twice a year. These free Healing Sounds concerts promote a calm environment for visitors listening in the performance area in the lobby, patients listening from their rooms, and hospital staff listening from the four balconies overlooking the Atrium.