“Moody and the orchestra treat the score as a serious classical piece, bringing out the nuances so stylishly, it was indeed a moving movie opener […] Yang, Moody and the symphony were all focused, creating a truly thrilling performance of this lesser-heard piece [Korngold’s Violin Concerto] […] Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony finished out the night in a rousing, emotional performance with Moody leading the charge […] The orchestra’s playing of the finale was rousing and awe-inspiring, as the consistency of the passion in the playing was felt throughout.”
Robert Moody is in his second year as Music Director of the Memphis Symphony. He serves as Music Director of Arizona Musicfest, which he has led since 2007. In 2018, Moody concluded his tenures with the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine), where he had been Music Director since 2005 and 2008, respectively.
Guest conducting highlights include appearances include with Chicago Symphony at Ravinia and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, in addition to the symphonies of Toronto, Houston, Indianapolis, Detroit, Seattle, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Buffalo, Louisville, Columbus, Oklahoma City, and, in Europe, the Slovenian Philharmonic and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. Summer festival appearances include Santa Fe Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Eastern Music Festival, PortOpera, Brevard Music Festival, and the Oregon Bach Festival.
Equally at home in the opera pit, Moody recently debuted with Opera Carolina conducting Le nozze di Figaro and Des Moines Metro Opera conducting Die Fledermaus. He made his Washington National Opera and North Carolina Opera debuts in 2014, and he conducted Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, and Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites during the 2016-2017 season. Moody began his career as apprentice conductor for the Landestheater Opera in Linz, Austria. He has gone on to conduct at the opera companies of Santa Fe, Rochester, Hilton Head Opera, and North Carolina Opera. He also assisted on a production of Verdi’s Otello at the Metropolitan Opera, conducted by Valery Gergiev, and at The English National Opera, where he was Assistant Conductor for Weill’s Street Scene.
Moody served as Associate, then Resident Conductor, of the Phoenix Symphony from 1998 through 2006, where he conducted a wide variety of concerts, including Classics, Chamber, Pops, Family, Handel’s Messiah, and the New Year’s Eve gala. His ability to speak with ease from the podium helped new converts to classical music and enthusiasts alike to gain a greater appreciation for orchestral music. Audiences at his concerts grew considerably during his time in Phoenix. Moody also founded The Phoenix Symphony Chorus, and for seven years was Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Prior to Phoenix, Moody served as Associate Conductor for the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, and Music Director (and founder) of the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Moody conducted the first professional performance of a work by composer Mason Bates, now Composer-in-Residence with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and was instrumental in the commissioning and premiere performances of several of Bates’ important major works for orchestra.
Moody’s work can be heard on several commercially released compact disc recordings. He collaborated with the Canadian Brass for their Bach and Legends CDs; he is also the conductor for the CD Fourth World, highlighting the music of Native American recording artist R. Carlos Nakai (available on the Canyon Record label); and in 2010, the Winston-Salem Symphony released their performance (live from 2009) of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. A DVD of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Arizona Musicfest was released in 2012. Recently, he was honored to conduct on the “Cancer Blows” concert with Ryan Anthony, members of the Dallas Symphony, and a host of trumpet luminaries, to aid the fight against multiple myeloma. CD and DVD recordings of that live concert, held in Dallas in March 2015, are now available for purchase.