Examining Robert Spano’s legacy as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Posted on: September 5, 2019

“Walking briskly to center stage, as he had done countless times for 18 seasons with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, music director Robert Spano was thinking about leading the orchestra,” writes Jon Ross in Wednesday’s (9/4) Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The audience greeted him … with a raucous standing ovation. It was January 2018. Just two days earlier Spano had announced he would leave his post at the end of the 2020-2021 season. The rare, pre-concert cheer seemed a cathartic response from an appreciative community…. The conductor, musician and composer has been central to the symphony’s success for nearly two decades … shaping both the sound of the orchestra—he has hired roughly a third of the current ensemble—and the symphony’s image … Within the first few years … Spano and the ASO began commissioning and recording substantive orchestral works from composers [who] came to be known as the Atlanta School of Composers…. ‘Robert has really identified a group of composers who have some commonalities, at least aesthetically. That’s something that many orchestras have looked to as an example of a very deep and effective way to engage with living composers and their music,’ said Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras.”

Posted September 5, 2019

Robert Spano photo by Angela Morris