Robert Spano, conductor, pianist, composer, and teacher, is known worldwide for the intensity of his artistry and distinctive communicative abilities, creating a sense of inclusion and warmth among musicians and audiences that is unique among American orchestras. Spano has been Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra since August 2022 and will continue there through the 2027-2028 season; this follows his tenure as Principal Guest Conductor with FWSO, which began in 2019. He is the tenth Music Director in the orchestra’s history, which was founded in 1912. In February 2024, Spano was appointed Music Director of the Washington National Opera, beginning in the 2025–2026 season, for a three-year term; he is currently the WNO's Music Director Designate. An avid mentor to rising artists, he is responsible for nurturing the careers of numerous celebrated composers, conductors, and performers. As Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2011, he oversees the programming of more than 300 events and educational programs for 630 students and young performers; he also directs the Aspen Conducting Academy, which offers participants unparalleled training and valuable podium experience. After twenty seasons as Music Director with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, he now serves as Music Director Laureate. He was appointed Principal Conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School in 2024, and will transition to Principal Guest Conductor in 2025-2026 following the appointment of their new Music Director.  

During the 2024–2025 season — Spano’s third as Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony — he leads six weeks of symphonic programming, conducting works including Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman in concert, and a world premiere by Jake Heggie, in addition to shaping the artistic direction of the orchestra and driving its continued growth. In the Fall of 2024, Spano leads his first performances as WNO’s Music Director Designate, including a new production of Beethoven’s Fidelio. Additional highlights of the 2024–2025 season include a two-week residency with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; his first appearances as Principal Conductor with the Rhode Island Philharmonic; and engagements with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and Colorado Symphony.            

Spano made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2019, leading the US premiere of Marnie by American composer Nico Muhly. Recent concert highlights have included several world-premiere performances, including The Sacrifice of Isaac by Jonathan Leshnoff with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; Steven Mackey’s Aluminum Flowers and James Ra’s Te Deum with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra; Of Earth and Sky: Tales From the Motherland by Brian Raphael Nabors with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Rhode Island Philharmonic; and Voy a Dormir by Bryce Dessner at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor.

With a discography of critically acclaimed recordings for Telarc, Deutsche Grammophon, and ASO Media, Robert Spano has garnered four Grammy™ Awards and eight nominations with the Atlanta Symphony. Spano 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 a recipient of the Georgia Governor's Award for the Arts and Humanities and is one of two classical musicians inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

“Mr. Spano drew a glowing, spacious performance of this Brahms masterwork from the orchestra, marking a great return visit for both him and this essential ensemble.” – The New York Times  

“The festival's music director, Robert Spano, caught both the broadest and finest strokes of tempo, dynamics and critical orchestral balances. He drew the best playing in the quiet, subtle moments of the score and long buildups to big climaxes.” – Aspen Times  

“The sonics of the CD are excellent, and the presence of both Rivera and Spano well-suited. It is a fine presentation of both Rivera’s voice and Spano’s collaborative capabilities at the piano, as well as his insight into his skills as a composer.” –  ArtsATL  



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