Music Director Robert Spano, now in his seventh season as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, is recognized internationally as one of the brightest and most imaginative conductors of his generation. Since 2001 he has energized and expanded the Orchestra’s repertoire and elevated the ensemble to new levels of international prominence and acclaim. Reflecting Mr. Spano’s commitment to living composers through the Atlanta School of Composers, he recently conducted John Adams’s Dr. Atomic at Chicago Lyric Opera, Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar at the Barbican Center, and Michael Gandolfi’s Impressions of the Garden of Cosmic Speculation (commissioned and recorded by the ASO) with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and BBC Scottish. Mr. Spano also champions the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Theater of a Concert, the ASO’s continuing exploration of different formats, settings, and enhancements for the musical performance experience. Equally accomplished as an operatic conductor, Mr. Spano has appeared with the opera companies of Chicago and Houston as well as at the Santa Fe Opera, Welsh National Opera, and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. In 2005 he conducted three cycles of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Seattle Opera and was immediately re-engaged to lead the company’s next Ring cycles in 2009. Mr. Spano was recently named 2008 Conductor of the Year by Musical America.