Musical america First appeared in print in 1898 and is America’s oldest classical music magazine. Since 1960, it has recognized stellar performers of classical music with its annual awards, recognizing excellence and artistic achievement in the arts and ranking among the highest honors in classical music. This year, Teddy Abrams was chosen as Conductor of the Year.
In recognition of the award, Abrams responded: “I am incredibly grateful and overwhelmed to receive this award from Musical America; the honor, however, should be shared by my amazing colleagues here in Louisville, on and off stage, who have become my family over the past seven seasons. We have worked tirelessly together to live by our values: to interconnect the endless pursuit of the creative spirit with the call to service and communion on behalf of our city. I am very proud of the work we have done so far in Louisville, and believe we are entering an era of further transformation and growth in a city that deserves it and in an industry that needs a bold redefinition. After a particularly difficult time in Louisville’s history, I am delighted that Musical America has offered this recognition for our orchestra and this spotlight for our beautiful city and state.“
Raised in Oakland, California, Abrams became a protégé of Michael Tilson Thomas at just 12 years old. He received a bachelor’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music at the age of 18 before being accepted by Curtis as his youngest conducting student. In Louisville, he has been hailed as a visionary and galvanizing conductor, leading creative initiatives such as his rap opera honoring one of Louisville’s heavyweight champions, Muhammad Ali.