Classical Festival
Music Director Teddy Abrams

An unusually versatile musician, Teddy Abrams is a widely acclaimed conductor, as well as an established pianist, clarinetist, and composer. Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra and Music Director and Conductor of the Orchestra at the Britt Music & Arts Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon, he also serves as Resident Conductor of the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, which he first conducted in 2011. A tireless advocate for the power of music, Abrams continues to foster interdisciplinary collaboration with organizations including the Louisville Ballet, the Center for Interfaith Relations, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Speed Art Museum, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. His extensive community outreach continues to reach new audiences and bring classical music into increasingly diverse communities.

Teddy’s 2016-17 season includes debuts at the Kennedy Center and with the Colorado, North Carolina, and 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, and Jacksonville Symphonies; Florida Orchestra; and the Louisiana and New Mexico Philharmonics. He has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the Indianapolis Symphony, and recently conducted them with Time for Three for a special recorded for PBS. 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 (NWS) and conducted many performances, including subscription concerts and numerous other full and chamber orchestra events. Abrams has conducted the NWS in Miami Beach, Washington, D.C. and at Carnegie Hall, and recently returned to conduct the NWS on subscription with Joshua Bell as soloist.

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 Jacksonville Symphony in Fall 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 studied conducting with Michael Tilson Thomas, 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 - he has taught at numerous schools throughout the United States. 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.