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Louisville Orchestra's New Music Director is 26-Year-Old Conductor Teddy Abrams

By Louise Burton on Nov 04, 2013 11:52 PM EST

The Louisville Orchestra named Teddy Abrams, 26, as music director DESIGNATE on November 4.

Andrew Kipe, the orchestra's brand new executive director, made the announcement in a press confefrence at the orchestra's concert hall in Louisville, Ky. Abrams' three-year contract as music director will begin in September 2014. He will succeed Jorge Mester, who will become the orchestra's music director emeritus.

Abrams adds this position with Louisville to a growing list of his other appointments. He has been the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's assistant conductor since 2012. He was recently named music director/conductor of the Britt Classical Festival. Abrams is also resident conductor of the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest.

Abrams said, "I am extremely excited to accept the position of music director designate. I knew from the first time I came to Louisville last season that this position had tremendous potential. I felt an immediate, powerful and positive connection with this city, and that initial chemistry grew as I began working with the orchestra's wonderful musicians. These exceptionally talented players have an intense desire and commitment to both the highest level of music-making and to building deep ties with the Louisville community."

As music director DESIGNATE, Abrams will lead the orchestra for two (2) weeks in February 2014. He will also work with the orchestra's board, musicians and staff to create and implement a new strategic plan for the future of the Louisville Orchestra.

The orchestra has experienced hard economic times in recent years--having filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection three years ago. The ensemble is currently rebuilding, and Abrams will be a crucial part of that process.

As assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Abrams witnessed and helped to bring about such a Renaissance in Motor City. The Detroit Symphony barely survived a bitter 6-month strike during its 2010-11 season, but has since rebounded and strengthened its connections to the community through innovative concerts and programs.  Abrams told the Louisville's Courier-Journal that he plans to bring to Louisville the lessons he learned in Detroit.

"Detroit is doing all the right things," Abrams told the Courier-Journal, calling the symphony a beacon for other orchestras.

The Louisville Orchestra recently hired Andrew Kipe as the executive director who will lead the rebuilding process.

"All of the pieces are in place," said the orchestra's board president Jim Welch.  "With Andrew at the helm and Teddy on the podium, the Louisville Orchestra is poised for an exciting resurgence."

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TagsLouisville Orchestra, Teddy Abrams, Jorge Mester, Britt Classical Festival, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Courier-Journal, Andrew Kipe, Jim Welch