Robert Spano conducts the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra at an open rehearsal on September 22, 2023. Photo by Kris Craig.

Robert Spano has joined the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School as principal conductor. Spano was appointed to the role after making his Rhode Island Philharmonic debut this past September and working with students at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School. In addition to his work as a conductor and music director, Spano is an educator, pianist, mentor to young artists, and champion of living composers. Spano is currently music director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra; he was appointed to that post in 2021, having served as principal guest conductor since 2019. Prior to that, he was music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for 20 years and is now the Atlanta Symphony’s music director laureate. As music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2011, he oversees the programming of more than 300 events and educational programs. Spano has conducted major orchestras and opera companies throughout the U.S. and abroad; his extensive discography includes four Grammy Awards. His 2023-2024 engagements include the Atlanta and New Jersey symphonies; Denver, Naples, and Rhode Island philharmonics, and multiple weeks at the Curtis Institute and Rice University. Spano will remain as principal conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Music School until the organization hires a permanent music director.