Abrams first joined the Britt Festival Orchestra (BFO) in 2013 as Music Director and this summer marks his 10th season with the orchestra. In those 10 years, Abrams led projects such as the centennial celebration at Crater Lake; commissions from some of the most important and well-known composers living today; and the unique composer-conductor fellowship program.
During his time with the BFO, Abrams’ career has gone from strength to strength. He accepted the role of Music Director for Louisville Symphony in 2014 and has since conducted some of the most celebrated orchestras nationally and internationally. It’s his flourishing career and increased artistic projects that Abrams says is the reason for his departure.
In a letter to the board of directors and the President & CEO, Abrams said “It has been a tremendous honor to be the Music Director of the Britt Festival Orchestra for the last ten years. I fell in love with the Rogue Valley community and beautiful Jacksonville the moment I first visited this place during my audition week in 2013, and I have forged lifelong friendships and deeply meaningful, lasting artistic relationships throughout my decade at Britt. This is a very special festival in a very special place, and I treasure my time as the leader of Britt’s storied and magnificent Orchestra. I believe that the dedicated work we’ve done together positions Britt perfectly to find the next Music Director who can shape an inspiring and engaging new era for the Orchestra.”
Sarah Lynch, Chair of the Board of Britt Music & Arts Festival, said “Teddy Abrams has brought visionary leadership to the Britt Festival Orchestra. The Board of Directors and I are grateful for his decade of extraordinary artistry. From programming innovative and inspiring music each season to his project leading the BFO in performances at Crater Lake funded by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2016, Teddy has propelled the Britt Festival Orchestra forward, and I am excited to see where a new Music Director can take us.”
With the BFO season beginning June 15, there are six more opportunities to experience Abrams at the podium. There will be a party celebrating Abrams’ tenure following the closing night on July 1, following a performance that features Abrams’ composition, Overture to The Greatest: Muhammad Ali.
Following Abrams’ departure, Britt will launch a search for the BFO’s next Music Director.
“Britt is committed to holding a national search for our next BFO Music Director,” said Britt Music & Arts Festival President & CEO Abby McKee. “Whoever steps up to the podium next will have big shoes to fill, so for now, we are focusing on celebrating Teddy Abrams. There will be plenty of time to share more about what happens next.”
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