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Teddy Abrams


Teddy Abrams, Musical America’s 2022 Conductor of the Year, is now in his tenth season as music director of the Louisville Orchestra (LO). As profiled by The New York Times, CBS Sunday Morning, the New Yorker, NPR, Opera News, the Wall Street Journal, PBS’s Articulate and PBS NewsHour, he has been the galvanizing force behind the orchestra’s extraordinary artistic renewal and innovative community engagement since his appointment in September 2014. 

Abrams and the LO begin their 2023-24 season with mandolinist, vocalist and composer Chris Thile, who joins them for the next leg of their historic multi-season state tour—“In Harmony – The Commonwealth Tour of the Louisville Orchestra.” Other season highlights include music of Gabriel Kahane and John Adams; Mahler’s Tragic Symphony No. 6; and “Creators Fest” concerts featuring world premieres of works from the Louisville Orchestra Creators Corps.

Abrams continues to be in high demand as guest conductor, this past winter making his Helsinki and Buffalo Philharmonic debuts and returning to the Utah Symphony. Highlights of the 2022-23 season included engagements with the Chicago, Cincinnati, Colorado, Kansas City and Pacific Symphonies; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg; and Innsbruck’s Tyrol Symphony Orchestra.

An award-winning composer, in April 2023 Abrams premiered his own Mammoth with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bass-baritone Davóne Tines and the LO in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave. Other recent compositional highlights include a piano concerto for Yuja Wang, with which he and the Louisville Orchestra made their Deutsche Grammophon debuts on her Grammy Award-winning March 2023 release, The American Project; and Space Variations, composed for Universal Music Group’s 2022 World Sleep Day. Abrams is now at work on ALI, a musical about Muhammad Ali scheduled to premiere in fall 2024 in Louisville, the boxer’s birthplace, before opening on Broadway in spring 2025.

Other notable Louisville collaborations include the song cycle The Order of Nature, composed with Jim James, vocalist and guitarist for My Morning Jacket, and recorded with the LO on Decca Gold. On the same label, Abrams, the LO and singer-songwriter Storm Large recorded All In, featuring American music by Cole Porter, Aaron Copland, and Abrams and Large themselves.