Robert Spano (image credit: Andela Morris)

A conversation with Robert Spano on creativity in isolation

Mark Gresham | 21 SEP 2020

Six months have gone by since the world turned upside down.

Hard to believe, but we’ve been living in a pandemic-ridden world for that long.

In January 2020, US cases of the novel coronavirus infection were fewer than 10 people total, but by mid-March, the cases skyrocketed, and with the declaration of a national pandemic emergency over COVID-19, came the onset of travel restrictions and lock-downs, travel restrictions, business closures and widespread loss of employment. and, for many, isolation – or nearly so.

  • AD SPIVEY HALL Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason 600 x 250
  • ECMSA 2122 ad
  • AD ASO-2021-22-CS04 Nathalie Stultzmann

For the music industry, live performances came to a screeching halt – at first for a few weeks, and then the cancellations of the remainders of 2019/20 seasons, then 2020 summer seasons. The entire now anxiety-filled world of music traded its known universe for a quasi-online version of itself. Normal no longer was. And performers, presenters and audiences began to deal with it as best they could.

This past Friday we spoke via Skype with conductor, composer, pianist and teacher Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Aspen Music Festival and School, about dealing with the challenges of being a creative musical artist during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear it through the audio player below.

ASO music director Robert Spano will lead a scaled-down Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in the opening concert of its 2020/21 virtual classical subscription season on October 1, featuring violinist Gil Shaham as featured guest soloist. Learn more at ■

  • Spivey Hall = Jeremy Denk
  • Spivey Hall - Organ Discovery Day