Spano, Robert, American conductor and pianist; b. Conneaup, Ohio, May 7, 1961. He studied conducting with Robert Baustian at the Oberlin (Ohio) Coll. Cons. of Music, where he also received training in piano, violin, and composition; later completed his conducting studies with Max Rudolf at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia. In 1989 he became music director of the Opera Theater at Oberlin Coll. From 1990 to 1993 he was asst. conductor of the Boston Sym. Orch.; subsequently toured widely as a guest conductor of major orchs. throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In 1994 he received the Seaver/NEA conductors award. During the 1994-95 season, he made his debut at London’s Covent Garden conducting Billy Budd. He was music director designate (1995–96) and then music director (from 1996) of the Brooklyn Phil. In 1999 he also became director of the Tanglewood Music Center conducting program and in 2000 he was named music director of the Atlanta Sym. Orch.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire