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Robert Moody

Robert Moody’s Music Director Contract with Memphis Symphony Extended until 2032

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra announced that it has extended its contract with Music Director Robert Moody, known for adventurous and inclusive programming and enthusiastic advocacy for the arts, for an additional eight years. The Board of Directors unanimously approved the contract that makes Moody Music Director through 2032.

“I couldn’t be happier to know that the musical journey with my family at Memphis Symphony Orchestra will continue! I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far. I realize that the growth of an orchestra is a slow and steady process. This long runaway will give us all that needed time to accomplish many of our dreams and goals for MSO.” – Robert Moody

Robert Moody joined the MSO in 2016. Concerts beginning Saturday, September 30 mark his seventh season as Music Director. In addition to being the primary conductor of the MSO, Moody’s role as Music Director also includes guiding the overall artistic vision of the institution and acting as a leading community voice for the invaluable impact that music and the arts have on the community.

“The ongoing commitment of the MSO musicians, staff, and board are underscored by Bob’s contract extension. Equally gifted and passionate about the Greater Memphis community, we’re excited to have Bob continue as MSO Music Director.” Jason Farmer, MSO Board Chair

“Robert has been a great leader and musical partner. He shares our passion for music’s role in enriching our community. We look forward to all the music we will make together.” Caroline Kinsey, Principal Horn

As only the MSO’s fifth Music Director, Moody is recognized for his creative concert programming, his dedication to music education, and his engaging ability to communicate that whether you are a life-long classical music fan or this is your first time at a concert, this music belongs to you. During his tenure, he led a new initiative to ensure that each concert would feature an African American or Latinx composer or soloist, communities traditionally underrepresented in classical music. Moody also created the Orchestra Unplugged Series in collaboration with the Orpheum Theatre Group – half concert, half entertaining lecture that takes a deep dive inside a single piece of music or composer. In Fall 2022, Moody conducted Renée Fleming for her Memphis debut. And he has led the orchestra and Memphis Black Arts Alliance to over-capacity audiences for the Memphis tradition, Sunset Symphony.

Moody believes that music’s purpose is to bring people together. He has deepened relationships with artistic partners like Opera Memphis, Ballet Memphis, and Collage Dance Collective, leading the orchestra in performances for each organization. He understands the invaluable role that music plays in the development of the next generation. The MSO’s education programs reach over 30,000 students in over 50 schools in over 26 ZIP codes each year. In early 2023, Moody led concerts for over 5,000 elementary age students from across Shelby County.

While he has made Memphis his home, Robert Moody is in demand beyond the city. He is the long-standing Music Director of the Arizona Music Festival, and is in regular demand as a conductor across the US and the world, including concerts in South Africa and Hong Kong.

A South Carolina native, Moody holds degrees from Furman University and the Eastman School of Music. He is a Rotarian and has served on the boards of AIDs Care Services, Winston-Salem YMCA, WDAV Classical Radio, and the Charlotte Master Chorale. Moody and his partner, organist Jimmy Jones live in Memphis with their two dogs and one cat. Moody is an avid runner, swimmer, history buff, “Jeopardy!” addict, and snow-skier.