Robert SpanoBack To Artist-Faculty
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. In Fall 2018, Spano made his Metropolitan Opera conducting debut with the U.S. Premiere of Nico Muhly’s newest opera, Marnie.
Highlights of Spano’s 2017–18 season included several world premiere performances, including a new work by prolific composer Bryce Dessner at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor; a tuba concerto by Atlanta School of Composers alumna Jennifer Higdon, performed by Craig Knox and the Pittsburgh Symphony; Melodia, For Piano and Orchestra, by Canadian composer Matthew Ricketts at the Aspen Music Festival; and a new work by the ASO’s own bassist Michael Kurth. With the Atlanta Symphony, Spano brought local audiences inspired, thoughtful programming, including the beginning of the two-year “LB/LB” celebration commemorating Leonard Bernstein and Ludwig van Beethoven, featuring six Bernstein works, nine Beethoven Symphonies, and vocal masterpieces including Verdi’s Otello and Bernstein’s Candide.
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.