Robert SpanoBack To Performers
Robert Spano, conductor, pianist, composer, and pedagogue is renowned for his creative, thoughtful programming. Currently in his sixteenth season as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, this imaginative conductor is responsible for nurturing and expanding the careers of numerous classically trained composers, conductors, and performers. As music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, he oversees the programming of more than 300 events and educational programs, including the Aspen Conducting Academy.
The Atlanta School of Composers (a group of composers whose work Spano has championed with the ASO) reflects Maestro Spano’s commitment to American contemporary music. He has led ASO performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Ravinia, Ojai, and Savannah music festivals. Guest engagements have included orchestras such as the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, San Francisco, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, and Philadelphia symphony orchestras, as well as Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, BBC Symphony, and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. His opera performances include Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and the 2005 and 2009 Seattle Opera productions of Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Mr. Spano began the 2016–17 season with cloth field: an art place of life, a conceptual collaboration with choreographer Lauri Stallings, involving dancers and sculptural elements and Mr. Spano’s 2014 composition for Atlanta-based dance troupe glo. In addition to his leadership of the ASO, Mr. Spano has recently returned to his love of composing. His most recent works include Sonata: Four Elements for piano, premiered by Mr. Spano at the AMFS in 2016, as well as his song cycle Three Hölderlin Lieder, sung by soprano Jessica Rivera, both recorded on the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s ASO Media label. An avid interpreter of opera and oratorio, Mr. Spano conducted John Adams’s Nixon in China at Houston Grand Opera and Christopher Theofanidis’s Creation/Creator at the Kennedy Center’s 2017 Shift Festival with the ASO and ASO Chorus, and conducted and recorded Gluck’s Orfeo with the ASO and ASO Chamber Chorus.
With a discography of critically acclaimed recordings for Telarc, Deutsche Grammophon, and ASO Media recorded over nine years, Robert Spano has won six Grammy Awards with the Atlanta Symphony. He is on faculty at Oberlin Conservatory and has received honorary doctorates from Bowling Green State University, the Curtis Institute of Music, Emory University, and Oberlin. Maestro Spano is one of two classical musicians inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and is proud to live in Atlanta.