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SFCM Alumnus Teddy Abrams Wins ‘Conductor of the Year’

Musical America named Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra Teddy Abrams (SFCM ‘05) ‘Conductor of the Year’ for 2022. The global news publication recognizes artists who have made significant contributions to their field.

October 12, 2021 by Mark Taylor

By Mark Taylor

Maestro Teddy Abrams has been named ‘Conductor of the Year’ for 2022 by America’s oldest classical music magazine, Musical America. The maestro graduated from SFCM at the age of 18 with a Bachelor of Music and, after furthering his musical education for several years, became the youngest ever conductor of a major orchestra in America at age 32.

The SFCM alumnus -- represented by Opus 3 Artists, the leading management company acquired by SFCM in late 2020 -- is in his eighth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. He is also music director for the Britt Festival Orchestra.

Raised in Oakland, Abrams started playing piano at age three, and started formal lessons at age five. At nine he saw a performance of the San Francisco Symphony and developed an interest in conducting. By age 12 he was studying conducting and musicianship with now Music Director Laureate of the SFS and SFCM Advisory Board Member, Michael Tilson Thomas. 

Abrams was a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra for seven seasons before enrolling in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a teenager where he studied piano with Paul Hersh, and graduated in 2005.

In a formal statement Abrams expressed his gratitude for the award saying, “I’m incredibly grateful and overwhelmed to receive this award from Musical America; the honor, however, should be shared by my extraordinary colleagues here in Louisville, both on and offstage, who have become family to me these past seven seasons. We have worked tirelessly together to live by our values: to interconnect the unending 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’ve accomplished so far in Louisville, and I believe that we are beginning an era of further transformation and growth in a city that deserves it and in an industry that needs bold redefinition.” 

Learn more about studying piano and conducting at SFCM.