Louisville Orchestra extends Teddy Abrams’ contract an ‘unprecedented’ five years

Teddy Abrams praises the Louisville Orchestra’s staff and board. | Photo by Sara Havens

During a news conference held Wednesday morning to announce the Louisville Orchestra’s new season, CEO Robert Massey, who was only on day three of his new job, shared the good news: Music Director Teddy Abrams has signed an unprecedented five-year contract, an extension on his usual three-year contract increments.

Abrams began his stint in Louisville in 2014 and has not only increased subscriptions and audience numbers, but also helped release the orchestra’s first recording in 30 years, “All In.” He’s also collaborated with artists from all genres and helped build a national reputation for the orchestra.

“This mutual commitment ensures that the future of the Louisville Orchestra is secure and demonstrates the organization’s confidence and creative vision of this brilliant director,” said Massey.

Robert Massey | Photo by Renee Parenteau

Abrams then took the podium and admitted that when he first took the job five years ago, he wasn’t sure he could accomplish everything he set out to do. But with the warm welcome from the city, he’s managed to do even more.

“I love Louisville, I love this orchestra, and I love our community,” he said. “I love everything about what we’ve already done and where we are going because this is an organization, an arts community and a city that dreams big. That’s the kind of place you want to be as an artist.”

Abrams acknowledged the orchestra’s staff, colleagues and board as the main reasons for the successes throughout the last few years.

“We’ve done everything from improvised jazz on stage with no music to rap, bluegrass and folk music from around the world,” said Abrams. “My colleagues in the orchestra have done that brilliantly with incredible energy and passion. I have to say, as a conductor, that is the very most you can hope for.”

Abrams is here at least until the 2024-2025 season.

The Louisville Orchestra’s 2019-2020 season includes innovative local and world premieres, collaborations, classics and even a powerful exhibit of violins rescued from the Holocaust. Packages are now available, and single tickets go on sale Aug. 1.