Robert Spano has announced plans to conclude his distinguished tenure as Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) in June 2021. The 2020-21 season will mark his 20th year at the orchestra’s helm, making him one of the longest-tenured music directors of a major U.S. orchestra. Spano is one of only four music directors to lead the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in the course of its 75-year history. Following the 2020-21 season, he will assume the title of Conductor Laureate of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and will continue to conduct the orchestra on a regular basis. The 2019–20 season will mark the ASO’s 75th anniversary season, which will be celebrated with special projects and events.
Spano said: “To end an intense artistic relationship is never an easy decision to contemplate, especially one as fruitful and inspiring as the one I have enjoyed as Music Director of this outstanding American orchestra. Twenty years is a good benchmark to balance the long-term commitment I have made to the ASO with the necessity of looking towards its future as well as my own. Accordingly, I have decided to complete my tenure as Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at the end of the 2020-21 season. I believe that together, many shared goals and dreams have been achieved. After these many years of great personal and artistic fulfillment, this is an institution that I deeply love: our devoted board members, our committed staff, our enthusiastic audiences, our talented youth orchestra, our magnificent chorus, and of course, all these extraordinary musicians who constitute the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. I look forward to many return visits in the years ahead.”
A committee will be formed to begin the search for Maestro Spano’s successor. In the meantime, the season continues with many concerts under his leadership, and the ASO looks forward to announcing its 74th season in mid-March.