Robert Moody has established himself over the past decade as one of America's most engaging and sought after conductors. With new conducting opportunities in Europe, and broadened leadership of America's major orchestras and orchestral musicians in Classical concerts, he now embarks on the beginning of a fully international career.
Robert Moody has had the honor of serving as Music Director for the Winston-Salem Symphony (North Carolina) since 2005, Artistic Director for Arizona Musicfest since 2007, and Music Director for the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine), since 2008.
Moody is the fourth Music Director in The Winston-Salem Symphony's 65 year history. Unprecedented success has been the hallmark of this tenure, including the creation of Pops, "Kicked-Back Classics," Discovery, Side-by-Side, and Handel's Messiah concert series. Under his tenure the orchestra has also taken the Winston-Salem Youth Orchestras program completely under its umbrella, hired a full-time Assistant Conductor, held a first-ever joint Classics concert with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, and released a commercial compact disc recording of Beethoven Symphony No. 9. After a visit to WSS in 2007, League of American Orchestras immediate past President Henry Fogel pronounce the Winston-Salem Symphony "one of the very healthiest orchestras" he had visited in his tenure leading the League.
Unanimous choice for the position, Moody became the 12th Music Director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine) in 2008. Highlights with The PSO have included multiple sold-out performances, a fully revamped "Magic of Christmas," and a gala concert with Renee Fleming. The 2009/2010 concert season ended with performances of Mahler Symphony No. 2, led by Maestro Moody and was universally praised as a crowning artistic achievement for the 87 year old orchestra.
Additionally, Moody serves as Artistic Director of Arizona Musicfest, the nation's premiere winter music festival, held in north Scottsdale, Carefee, Cave-Creek, and through the Arizona Desert Foothills region. The Musicfest Festival Orchestra consists of members of some of the nation's top orchestras (Chicago, Boston, Detroit, National Symphonies, The Cleveland Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and many more). Maestro Moody leads this orchestra in four orchestral concert programs each February. Highlights of the 2012 season included Verdi Requiem featuring both the Musicfest and UCLA choruses, Prokoviev Romeo and Juliet, and Dvorak Serenade for Winds featuring clarinetist Ricardo Morales.
Moody served as Associate, then Resident Conductor of The Phoenix Symphony (AZ) from 1998 through 2006. There he conducted a wide variety of concerts, including Classics, Chamber, Pops, Family, Handel's Messiah, and New Year's Eve gala. His casual manner and ability to speak with ease from the podium helped novices and enthusiasts alike gain a greater appreciation for orchestral music, and made him a valley-favorite; a relationship he enjoys with Phoenix to this day. Moody also founded The Phoenix Symphony Chorus, and for seven years was Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Prior to Phoenix, Maestro Moody served as Associate Conductor for the Evansville (IN) Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director (and founder) of the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, conductor for the Interschool Orchestras of New York (in Manhattan), and apprentice conductor for the Landestheater Opera House in Linz, Austria.
Born and raised in Greenville, SC, Moody took up the cello in the public school system (Duncan Chapel Elementary) in the 4th grade. His voice and cello studies throughout high school (including three years of study at the Greenville County Fine Arts Center - one of the first public high schools for the arts in the nation) took him to Furman University, where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Church Music, with performing emphasis in both voice and cello. He then completed his Master of Music Degree in Conducting at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he studied with Donald Neuen.
Moody is a frequent guest conductor with orchestras across the United States. In 2009 he completed a ten-year tenure as head of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic's "Discovery" concert series. Guest conducting appearances include the symphony orchestras of Houston, Indianapolis, Detroit, Seattle, Pacific, Memphis, Ft. Worth, Virginia, San Antonio, Buffalo, Louisville, Stamford, Charleston, Naples, Anchorage, California, and many more. Summer festival appearances include Santa Fe Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Brevard Music Center, Eastern Music Festival, PortOpera, Oregon Bach Festival, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, and Skaneateles Festival. Always energized to "pay it forward" to the next generation of musicians, Moody is proud to have led (or will lead) the All-State Orchestra festivals in Colorado, Maine, and Oklahoma.
Maestro Moody has conducted many of the worlds greatest performing artists in concert. These have included: Yo Yo Ma, Itsaak Perlman, Renee Fleming, Van Cliburn, Andre Watts, Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Robert McDuffie, Lynne Harrell, Midori, Time for Three, Zuill Bailey, Ryan Anthony, Alexander Gavrilyuk, Joshua Roman, Chris Botti, Chris Thile, and many more.
A Champion of new music, Moody is proud to have played an instrumental role in the commissioning and premiere performances of several important new works for orchestra. These include several works of composer Mason Bates: Free Variations for Orchestra, Ode, Rusty Air in Carolina, and Desert Transport. And also the Sabar concerto for African Drum Ensemble and Orchestra, composed by James DeMars.
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 "4th 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 performance (live from 2009) of Beethoven Symphony No. 9. A DVD of Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with Arizona Musicfest becomes available in 2012.
When not making music, one is most likely to find Robert Moody snow-skiing, hiking, running, or involved in other outdoor activities. He was a founding member of The Phoenix Symphony Running Club, completed his first marathon in 2004, and participates annually in both the "Mistletoe Half Marathon" in NC and the "Beach to Beacon" 10K in Maine.