Episode 265. Teddy Abrams – Executive Director-Louisville Orchestra
Teddy Abrams is a widely acclaimed conductor, as well as an established pianist, clarinetist, & composer. As Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra & Music Director & Conductor of the Britt Classical Festival, Teddy also served as Resident Conductor of the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, which he first conducted in 2011. A tireless advocate for the power of music, he continues to foster interdisciplinary collaboration with organizations including the Louisville Ballet, the Center for Interfaith Relations, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Speed Art Museum, & the Folger Shakespeare Library. His extensive community outreach continues to reach new audiences & bring classical music into increasingly diverse communities.
Teddy’s previous seasons have included debuts at the Kennedy Center & with Colorado, North Carolina, & New Jersey Symphonies, as well as a return to the New World Symphony. Recent guest conducting highlights include engagements with the San Francisco, Houston, Vancouver, Phoenix, & Jacksonville Symphonies; Florida Orchestra; & Louisiana and New Mexico Philharmonics. He has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the Indianapolis Symphony, & recently conducted them with Time for 3 for a special recording for PBS. Prior to these stints, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony from 2012-2014.
From 2008 to 2011 Teddy was the Conducting Fellow & Assistant Conductor of the New World Symphony (NWS) & conducted many performances, including subscription concerts & numerous other full & chamber orchestra events. He has conducted the NWS in Miami Beach, Washington, D.C. & at Carnegie Hall, with a recent return to conduct the NWS on subscription with Joshua Bell as soloist.
An accomplished pianist & clarinetist, Teddy has appeared as a soloist with a # of orchestras—including play-conducting the Ravel Piano Concerto with the Jacksonville Symphony in Fall 2013—& has performed chamber music with the St. Petersburg String Quartet, Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Time for Three, & John Adams, in addition to annual appearances at the Olympic Music Festival. Dedicated to exploring new & engaging ways to communicate with a diverse range of audiences, Teddy co-founded the 6h Floor Trio in 2008. Together, they founded & direct GardenMusic, the music festival of the world-renowned Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami; they continue to tour regularly throughout the U.S.
Teddy studied conducting with Michael Tilson Thomas, Otto-Werner Mueller and Ford Lallerstedt at the Curtis Inst. of Music, & with David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival; he was the youngest conducting student ever accepted at BOTH institutions! He is also an award-winning composer & a passionate educator – he has taught at numerous schools throughout the USA. His 2009 Education Concerts with the New World Symphony (featuring the world premiere of one of Teddy’s own orchestral works) were webcast to 100’s of schools throughout South Florida.
Teddy performed as a keyboardist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, won the 2007 Aspen Composition Contest, and was the Assistant Conductor of the YouTube Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 2009. He has held residencies at the La Mortella music festival in Ischia, Italy & at the American Academy in Berlin. He was a proud member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra for 7 seasons, & graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music, having studied piano with Paul Hersh.