An unusually versatile musician, Teddy Abrams is a widely acclaimed conductor, as well as an established pianist, clarinetist, and composer. This season marks the beginning of his tenure as Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra and Music Director and Conductor of the Britt Classical Festival. He also serves as Resident Conductor of the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, which he first conducted in 2011. Teddy recently concluded his appointment as Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony.
Active as a guest conductor, the 2014-15 season includes Teddy’s debuts with the Louisiana and New Mexico Philharmonics, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, as well as returns to the Indianapolis Symphony and New World Symphony on subscription with Joshua Bell as soloist. Recent performances include a debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and returns to The Florida Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony, where he conducted the orchestra’s summer classical series in July 2013. 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 has worked with many other orchestras around the country.
An accomplished pianist and clarinetist, Abrams has appeared as a soloist with a number of orchestras – including playing and 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. The Trio has performed around the country, establishing residencies in communities in North Carolina, Philadelphia, New York and South Florida; Abrams and the Trio founded and direct GardenMusic, the music festival of the world-renowned Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami. Abrams collaborated (as an arranger and pianist) with Cleveland Orchestra principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa for La Rosa’s debut CD, released in October 2010.
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.