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Louisville Orchestra Extends Abrams' Contract, Announces New Season

Louisville Orchestra

Louisville Orchestra CEO Robert Massey announced that the orchestra’s board of directors has extended Music Director Teddy Abram’s contract for an additional five years, through the 2024-2025 season.

Massey, who succeeds former CEO Andrew Kipe, has officially been in his role for three days. He said Abrams has brought a unique energy to the organization.

"Under his leadership, the orchestra has realized an impressive list of accomplishments — including the release of its first recording in nearly 30 years," Massey said. "Teddy's own award-winning compositions have brought a diverse, new audience to the Louisville Orchestra."

Abrams joined the Louisville Orchestra in 2014 as Music Director. He was 27 at the time, making him one of the youngest to hold that position at a professional American orchestra.

Since then, Abrams has expanded the types of performances audiences see on-stage — including bluegrass, rap and freestyle jazz — while also presenting classic compositions.

“I think Louisville has the best audiences in the world,” Abrams said. “This is an audience that will go anywhere. They listen with open ears, they come to concerts ready to be excited, ready to hear things they never heard before.”

Abrams is counting on an open audience for the 2019-2020 Louisville Orchestra season, which was also announced on Wednesday.

While the season will incorporate works that are typical of orchestras — from Beethoven, Dvorak, Mahler and Strauss, for example — Abrams said they'll also bring some unique performances to the stage.

“Some of our upcoming major projects include premieres of collaborations with dance, theater, and visual artists,” Abrams said. “We want the Louisville Orchestra to be a central forum for creativity.”

Below is the lineup of the Orchestra’s Classics series. You can find information about additional series — Pops, Family and Coffee — here.


“From The Sea”

November 12, 2019

The Percussion Collective | Teddy Abrams, conductor

Jean Sibelius: The Oceanides

Garth Neustadter: Seaborne (First performance of the fully-orchestrated

version) Claude Debussy: La Mer


“From the New World”

November 29, 2019

Anne Akiko Meyers, violin | Elena Urioste, violin | Teddy Abrams, conductor

Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”)

Selections for violin TBA


“Violins of Hope”

October 25, 2019

Gabriel Lefkowitz, violin | TBA, narrator | Teddy Abrams, conductor

Ljova: Klezmer music TBA

John Williams: Three pieces from “Schindler’s List”

Michael Tilson Thomas: From The Diary of Anne Frank


“Don Quixote + Other Journeys”

November 23, 2019

Vinay Parameswaran, conductor | Nicholas Finch, cello

Anne Clyne: Night Ferry

Richard Strauss: Don Quixote


“Brahms Third”

February 1, 2019

Roderick Cox, conductor | TBA, piano

Edvard Grieg, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 3


“Gospel at the Symphony: Festival of American Music I”

February 23, 2019

St. Stephen Baptist Church Choir | Teddy Abrams, conductor

Duke Ellington: Three Black Kings

Gospel selections with Orchestra TBA


“Festival of American Music II”

March 14, 2020

Teddy Abrams, conductor

Program TBA


“Beethoven + Rachmaninoff”

April 11, 2020

Rei Hotoda, conductor

Missy Mazzoli: River Rouge Transfiguration

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No. 8

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2


“Concerto for Orchestra”

April 23, 2020

Teddy Abrams, conductor

Grimes, Negron, Nova, Shaw, Kirkland Snider: Blue Hour

Bela Bartok: Concerto For Orchestra