Following a four-year national search, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) has appointed Geoffrey Robson as music director to lead the performing arts organization into its 58th season. Robson stood out from a field of exceptional candidates as the unanimous choice to guide the ASO’s creative future.
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Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Music Director Geoffrey Robson (Photo: Business Wire)
“From his concerts with Midori, Gil Shaham and most recently Zuill Bailey, Geoff has proven himself as the artist, musician and leader this orchestra wants to follow into its future success,” said ASO CEO Christina Littlejohn. “Whether conducting symphonic repertoire or playing bluegrass, folk or Florence Price, he brings joy and a sense of wonder to every performance.”
Robson, who previously served as artistic director, has conducted critically acclaimed concerts. He also played an instrumental role during the COVID-19 pandemic by designing innovative programs that allowed the symphony to continue moving forward and adapt as it transitioned from public to online, live streaming performances.
“It is the honor of a lifetime to be chosen to chart the path forward as the next music director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, made extraordinary as I was chosen by a group of musicians, most of whom I have known for years,” said Robson. “Every single person I work with has a steadfast dedication to making beautiful music available to all. This gives us our purpose, relevance and visibility.”
Robson, who frequently performs as a guest conductor with symphonies around the nation, was awarded the Respighi Prize in Conducting by the Chamber Orchestra of New York in 2017. In 2016, he conducted the premiere of James Stephenson’s Concerto for Hope with celebrated trumpeter Ryan Anthony and the San Juan (Colorado) Symphony.
“The symphony’s next music director will play a key role in the organization’s future success and Mr. Robson’s artistry, discipline, curiosity, humor and infectious enthusiasm made him the leader we want to lead ASO into this next chapter,” said Jan Hundley, chair of the ASO Board of Directors.
Robson studied orchestral conducting at the Mannes College of Music under the tutelage of David Hayes and holds violin performance degrees from Yale University and the Michigan State University Honors College. He is a founding member of The Chelsea Symphony and studied conducting at Yale University with Lawrence Leighton Smith, Edward Cumming and Shinik Hahm.
About The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 58th season in 2023–2024. The ASO is the resident orchestra at The Robinson Center Music Hall, and performs more than 60 concerts each year for more than 165,000 people. Learn more at: www.ArkansasSymphony.org