Robert Spano

Robert Spano

As Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Robert Spano has brought the ensemble to international prominence. He's a strong voice for new music and has premiered works by Jennifer Higdon, Michael Gandolfi and Osvaldo Golijov. Mr. Spano also guest conducts the leading North America and European orchestras and is highly regarded as an operatic conductor.

The New York Philharmonic commissioned composer John Adams to write a new work for the first anniversary of 9/11. Instead of writing music for those who died on that day, John Adams chose to address the pain and loss of the living, in this case, the family and friends of 9/11 victims. Conductor Robert Spano conducts Adams' "On the Transmigration of Souls," and says the composer's greatest accomplishment is his ability to make connections.

Robert Spano adds that John Adams' 9-11 commemorative work, "On the Transmigration of Souls" is not an angry condemnation, a patriotic call to arms or a grand memorial. He calls it "a memorial space - a place where you can go and be alone with your thoughts and emotions."

The music heard here is John Adams - On the Transmigration of Souls (Telarc 80673).


The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra operates under a management approach known as "collective leadership." Conductor Robert Spano is clearly in charge, but he encourages everyone to speak up.

That's one way to get things done, and it seems to be working for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and conductor Robert Spano. The New York Times calls their performances "vivid", "incisive" and "rhapsodic." Get to know Robert Spano and the ASO at their website,

The music heard here is the Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 5 (Scherzo).


Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings has become the American anthem for peace and comfort during times of national sadness and loss.

It started out as the slow movement for a string quartet, but with the help of a major film - and its presence at prominent national events - Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings has become engrained in our national fiber as music for healing, faith and peace in difficult times.


Barber also wrote a choral setting of his Adagio. In several of the more poignant sections, the sopranos sing in their highest range. Conductor Robert Spano says he doesn't have a clue how they reach those notes in the vocal stratosphere.

The original version of the Samuel Barber Adagio for Strings is heard in the composer's String Quartet. In the Choral setting Barber used the text from the Latin prayer, Agnus Dei. The best known string version of the Adagio and the choral version are both on a recent CD with the Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus, conducted by Robert Spano. (Telarc 80673).

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