Mark Gresham | 16 MAR 2019 @ 2:28am ET (last update @ 11:19am ET)
FORT WORTH, TX— Robert Spano has been named the Principal Guest Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, effective immediately. The orchestra made the announcement Friday evening at Bass Performance Hall during the first of this weekend’s three performances in which Spano is conducting Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss, with Jessica Rivera as soprano soloist.
As Principal Gust Conductor, Spano will will return to the Fort Worth podium to conduct two concert weekends per year beginning with the 2020-21 season and running for a three year term, through 2022-23. Spano will end a 20 year tenure as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at the conclusion of the 2010-21 season. He has also been Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2011.
In each of the three seasons of his tenure, Spano will conduct two the orchestra’s ten Symphonic Series concert weekends, performed in the acoustically superb Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall. In addition, Spano will assist the orchestra with its fund raising and community outreach efforts.
“I am very pleased that Robert Spano – a highly-respected conductor of international standing &ndsh; will be playing an important role in the musical life of the FWSO for the next few years,” FWSO Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya stated in the orchestra’s press release about Spano’s appointment. “I have long admired Robert’s programming, as well as the range and variety of living composers he performs and supports. I offer a sincere and very warm welcome!”
In May 2018, Harth-Bedoya himserlf announced that he will conclude his own tenure as Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in July, 2020, at the culmination of his 20th year as the orchestra’s artistic leader, after which he will assume the title of Conductor Laureate and returning to conduct in upcoming seasons.
That marks a significant change for Ft. Worth, just as Spano’s impending departure from the ASO the following year does for Atlanta. The artistic leadership flux in both cities will be an interesting process for fans of orchestral music to follow. ■
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