With his departure announced, Robert Spano reflects on his time in Atlanta

Conductors of symphony orchestras are called “maestro,” and they rarely don horsehead masks and dance around the stage. 

But these kinds of things happen at a Robert Spano concert, and did happen at a performance of “cloth/field,” which not only featured dancers spinning Spano’s piano in circles while he performed his original music, but also included Spano’s terpsichorean debut. 

Spano credits his collaborator, Lauri Stallings, founder of the innovative dance troupe Glo, for drawing him off the podium and onto the dance floor. “She finds ways for those of us with no skill to be part of the pageantry,” he said modestly, in a recent interview.

That 2014 performance stands out in our memory and in Spano’s. He recently reviewed his career as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which began in 2001 and will end with the 2020-21 season.

Take a listen to our talk with the maestro about his past, present and future with the ASO and beyond in our weekly podcast, accessAtlanta.

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