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Memphis Symphony Orchestra Names Robert Moody Principal Conductor

Robert Moody
Memphis Symphony Orchestra

Robert Moody has been selected as the Memphis Symphony Orchestra Principal Conductor beginning with the 2016-2017 season. Moody has signed a two-year contract for the important role as the leading creative position in the organization. Moody has served as Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony (North Carolina) since 2005, Artistic Director of Arizona Musicfest since 2007, and Music Director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine) since 2008. 

“We believe Robert is the ideal selection to assume the role of Principal Conductor for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra,” said Memphis Symphony Board Chair Gayle Rose. “He is an incredibly gifted and experienced conductor whose expertise encompasses a wide-range of musical styles. Robert already has a wonderful rapport with our orchestra and is well known and liked among our patrons. He is deeply committed to extending the MSO’s bond with the community.”  

“A music director search is nearly a two-year process that involves advertising for the job, narrowing the field, and then the public conducting of a concert during the season so the musicians, patrons and the search committee can see him or her in action,” added Rose. “As we redevelop our organization, the Board sees in Robert an exceptional partner in providing stability and artistic excellence without going through that time consuming and expensive process. The Board remains focused on building a sustainable future for the orchestra.” 

In addition to his conducting duties as Principal Conductor, Moody will assist in program planning, fund raising and community activities.

Maestro Moody has accompanied many of the most recognized performing artists in the world, including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Renee Fleming, Denyce Graves, Andre Watts, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Awadagin Pratt, and Midori. He has also been an in-demand guest conductor around the world, including several recent guest conducting engagements with the Memphis Symphony. Moody, who hails from South Carolina, began his conducting career as apprentice conductor for the Landestheater Opera in Linz, Austria. His work can be heard on several commercially released compact disc recordings, including two with Canadian Brass, a live CD recording of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Winston-Salem Symphony, and a DVD of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Arizona MusicFest.

“I am honored to accept this position of artistic leadership with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and look forward to the many great music making experiences to come with my wonderful friends and colleagues – the musicians of the MSO!” stated Moody.  “Memphis has one of the richest musical cultures in the country, and I look forward to exploring that culture aggressively.  We can find many ways to shorten the distance between the Cannon Center and Beale Street!”

Maestro Moody will conduct four of six First Tennessee Masterworks concert weekends, one Pops concert and one of the Paul & Linnea Bert Classic Accents performances during the 2016-2017 season. 

About Memphis Symphony Orchestra: The Memphis Symphony Orchestra, under Music Director Mei-Ann Chen, strives to enrich the lives of our diverse community through exceptional music and dynamic programs. More than 400 musicians, staff and volunteers make up the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Chorus and the Memphis Symphony League, operating educational programs, organizing community engagement events and performing concerts. 

Find out more here