Robert Moody

Internationally acclaimed conductor Robert Moody in currently enjoying his 17th season as Music Director of Arizona Musicfest and 8thseason as Music Director of The Memphis Symphony Orchestra (Tennessee). Under his artistic leadership, AZ Musicfest has become the premiere Winter Music Festival Orchestra in North America, boasting a roster comprised of players from the world’s greatest orchestras.  The Memphis Symphony has enjoyed exponential growth in programming, recording, new commissions, and endowment growth to well over $25 Million dollars.

Prior to Memphis, Moody was music director for both the Portland Symphony (Maine) and the Winston-Salem Symphony (North Carolina).  Earlier in his career, he held conducting positions with the Phoenix Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, Santa Fe Opera, Brevard Music Center, Interschool Orchestras of New York City, and apprenticed at Landestheater Opera in Linz, Austria.

He has led many of the major orchestras and opera companies of the world, including Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Dallas and Houston Symphonies, Minnesota Orchestra, Washington National Opera, Aachen and Baden Baden Symphony Orchestras in Germany, Orquesta Filarmonica de Bogotá (Colombia), and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra (Austria).  He is a frequent guest conductor in South Africa, returning this season for the third time to conduct the three major orchestras there – Cape Town, Johannesburg, and KZN Philharmonic in Durban.

In addition to South Africa, guest conducting this season includes Sewanee Summer Music Festival (TN), National Repertory Orchestra (CO), Highlands Opera Festival (Canada), Shen Zhen Symphony Orchestra (China) as well as debuts with Buffalo Philharmonic (NY), Billings Symphony (MT), Baltimore Chamber Orchestra (MD), Chattanooga Symphony/Opera (TN), and a return to guest conduct Greensboro Symphony Orchestra (NC).

In 2022 Moody was personally invited by opera superstar Renée Fleming to conduct a gala concert with her and the Lakeland Symphony Orchestra in Florida.  From that experience, he was immediately named Principal Opera Conductor for Lakeland Symphony/Opera.  He is also excited to conduct Renée once again this season at Arizona Musicfest.

Moody’s work is available on several commercial recordings, including the Canadian Brass albums Bach and Legends, R. Carlos Nokai’s Fourth World album, and with Memphis Symphony Orchestra an trumpet legend Ryan Anthony on his Re:Mission Rubato album.

Robert is also a close friend and collaborator with Grammy winning composer Mason Bates.  Their friendship spans over 30 years, and Moody was the first conductor to commission a full orchestral work from Bates. Robert also commissioned several major works of Mason’s, including Rusty Air in Carolina, and the much lauded Desert Transport.

A South Carolina native, Moody holds degrees from Furman University and the Eastman School of Music, where he earned his conducting degree with Donald Neuen.  Additional studies included an undergraduate term abroad in Vienna, Austria, and a summer of study with Otto Werner Mueller at Le Domaine Forget in Quebec. 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.

Maestro 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.