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An unusually versatile musician, Teddy Abrams is the widely-acclaimed Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra. Now in his eighth season as Music Director, Teddy has fostered interdisciplinary collaborations with the Louisville Ballet and Speed Art Museum, and lead Louisville’s cultural response to the pandemic with the Lift Up Lou initiative. Among other works, the 2021-22 season includes the world premieres of Teddy’s new piano concerto written for Yuja Wang and a concerto for timba band and orchestra composed by GRAMMY winner Dafnis Prieto. His rap-opera, The Greatest: Muhammad Ali, premiered in 2017, celebrating Louisville’s hometown hero with an all-star cast that included Rhiannon Giddens and Jubilant Sykes, as well as Jecorey “1200” Arthur, with whom he started the Louisville Orchestra Rap School. Abrams’ work with the Louisville Orchestra has been profiled on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, PBS’ Articulate, and the PBS NewsHour.

Teddy Abrams has been Music Director and Conductor of the Britt Festival Orchestra since 2013, where, in addition to an annual three-week festival of concerts, he has taken the orchestra across the region in the creation of new work—including Michael Gordon’s Natural History, which was premiered on the edge of Crater Lake National Park in partnership with the National Parks Service, and was the subject of the PBS documentary Symphony for Nature; and Pulitzer Prize-winning-composer Caroline Shaw’s Brush, an experiential work written to be performed this summer on the Jacksonville Woodlands Trail system.

Abrams recently collaborated with Jim James, vocalist and guitarist for My Morning Jacket, on the song cycle The Order of Nature, which they premiered with the Louisville Orchestra in 2018 and recorded on Decca Gold. They performed the work with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in 2019.

Teddy Abrams records on Universal Music Group’s Decca Gold Label. In addition to The Order of Nature, Teddy and the Louisville Orchestra recorded All In in 2017 with vocalist Storm Large. Teddy’s most recent recording was an original track, “Fourth Mode,” as part of UMG’s World Sleep Day.

Highlights of Teddy’s 2021-22 season include engagements with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Sarasota Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, and New World Symphony. He appears as a featured speaker at the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival. As a guest conductor, Teddy has worked with such distinguished ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the San Francisco, National, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Vancouver, Colorado, Utah, and Phoenix Symphonies; Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; and the Florida Orchestra. Internationally, he has worked with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and the Malaysian Philharmonic. He served as Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony from 2012-2014. From 2008 to 2011, Abrams was the Conducting Fellow and Assistant Conductor of the New World Symphony.

An accomplished pianist and clarinetist, Abrams has appeared as a soloist with a number of orchestras—including play-conducting the Ravel Piano Concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony in 2017 and the Jacksonville Symphony in 2013—and has performed chamber music with the St. Petersburg String Quartet, Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Time for Three, and John Adams, in addition to annual appearances at the Olympic Music Festival. Dedicated to exploring new and engaging ways to communicate with a diverse range of audiences, Abrams co-founded the Sixth Floor Trio in 2008. Together, they founded and direct GardenMusic, the music festival of the world-renowned Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami; they continue to tour regularly throughout the U.S.

Abrams was a protégé of Michael Tilson Thomas from the age of eleven, and studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller and Ford Lallerstedt at the Curtis Institute of Music, and with David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival; he was the youngest conducting student ever accepted at both institutions. Abrams is also an award-winning composer and a passionate educator. His 2009 Education Concerts with the New World Symphony (featuring the world premiere of one of Abrams’ own orchestral works) were webcast to hundreds of schools throughout South Florida.

Abrams 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 and at the American Academy in Berlin. Teddy was a proud member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra for seven seasons, and graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music, having studied piano with Paul Hersh.

JULY 2021