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Having celebrated his twentieth anniversary as Boston Pops
Conductor in 2015, Keith Lockhart is the second longest-tenured
conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885.
He took over as conductor in 1995, following John Williams's
thirteen-year tenure from 1980 to 1993; Mr. Williams succeeded the
legendary Arthur Fiedler, who as at the helm of the orchestra for
nearly fifty years. During his tenure, Keith Lockhart has
significantly expanded Pops programming, focused on national annual
touring, and participated in major media events. He has solidified
the orchestra's place in the fabric of the New England community
and has led the Boston Pops in countless performance situations.
The list of more than 250 guest artists with whom he has
collaborated is a virtual "who's who" of performers and pop culture
Keith Lockhart, who occupies the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston
Pops Conductor chair, has conducted more than 1,900 Boston Pops
concerts, most of which have taken place during the orchestra's
spring and holiday seasons in Boston's historic Symphony Hall. Mr.
Lockhart has also led annual Boston Pops appearances at Tanglewood,
43 national tours to more than 150 cities in 38 states, and four
international tours to Japan and Korea. He and the Pops have made
79 television shows and participated in such high-profile sporting
events as Super Bowl XXXVI, the 2008 NBA finals, the 2013 Boston
Red Sox Ring Ceremony, and the Red Sox Opening Day game at Fenway
Park in 2009. The annual July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular
draws a live audience of over half a million to the Charles River
Esplanade and millions more who view it on television or live
webcast. Last year, with Eaton Vance as presenting sponsor and
Bloomberg exclusive media partner, the Pops organization presented
its first self-produced Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which
was broadcast on Bloomberg Television and all its media outlets.
Both companies made initial three-year commitments to the event in
Mr. Lockhart has led eight albums on the RCA Victor/BMG Classics
label, including two-The Celtic Album and The Latin
Album-that earned Grammy nominations. Recent releases on
Boston Pops Recordings include The Red Sox Album, A
Boston Pops Christmas-Live from Symphony Hall, and The
Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, which was
a Boston Pops commission premiered in 2010 during the orchestra's
125th season. Released at the beginning of the 2017 Pops season,
Lights, Camera…Music! Six Decades of John Williams
features Keith Lockhart leading the Boston Pops in a collection of
Williams compositions from the 1960s onward, some of which can be
Programming-wise, Keith Lockhart has put an increased focus on
musical theater, attracting such leading Broadway artists as
Kristen Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Kelli O'Hara, Bernadette Peters,
and Billy Porter to the Pops stage. He has worked closely with
hundreds of talented young musicians, including Fellows of the
Tanglewood Music Center, college students from the Boston
Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, and area high school
students. He introduced the PopSearch talent competition and the
innovative JazzFest and EdgeFest series, featuring prominent jazz
and indie artists performing with the Pops. He is dedicated to
building and updating the Boston Pops library of music, which
contains over five thousand arrangements.
With a renewed commitment to bring the Boston Pops into the
Boston community and to important civic events, Keith Lockhart and
the Pops have appeared at gubernatorial and mayoral inauguration
ceremonies; the annual tree lighting in Boston's Public Garden;
sporting events including Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics
games; and the memorial service for the Boston Marathon bombing
victims. He has led free concerts in such major public spaces as
Boston Common and Franklin Park, and each holiday season brings
members of the Pops to play for patients at Children's
Perhaps the most significant key to Keith Lockhart's success is
his ability to connect passionately with audiences through his
engaging programs, his commitment to speaking directly from the
stage with fascinating insights into the music, and his inherent
understanding of the importance of what sets the Pops experience
apart from a traditional orchestra concert-an atmosphere of
music-making that is both fun and entertaining for music lovers of
Having just completed an eight-year tenure as principal
conductor, Keith Lockhart is now chief guest conductor of the BBC
Concert Orchestra in London, which he led in the June 2012 Diamond
Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II; he is also artistic
director of the Brevard Music Center summer institute and festival
in North Carolina. Prior to his BBC appointment, he spent eleven
years as music director of the Utah Symphony, which he led at the
2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He has appeared as a
guest conductor with virtually every major symphonic ensemble in
North America, as well as many prestigious orchestras in Asia and
Europe. Prior to coming to Boston, he was the associate conductor
of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras, as
well as music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Born in
Poughkeepsie, NY, Keith Lockhart began his musical studies with
piano lessons at the age of seven. He holds degrees from Furman
University and Carnegie Mellon University, and honorary doctorates
from several American universities. Visit keithlockhart.com for further information.
Keith Lockhart, conductor
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Multifaceted performer Leslie Odom, Jr. completed his run on Broadway starring as 'Aaron Burr' in the original cast of the blockbuster hit musical, "Hamilton," a role that earned him the 2016 Tony Award for Lead Actor in a Musical. He is also a Grammy Award-winner as a principal soloist on Hamilton's Original Broadway Cast Recording, which won the 2016 award for Best Musical Theater Album.
Odom, Jr. made his Broadway debut at the age of 17 in Rent, before heading to Carnegie Mellon University's prestigious School of Drama, where he graduated with honors. He is the recipient of a 2002 Princess Grace Award for Acting, which is dedicated to identifying emerging talent in theater, dance and film.
Additional theatre credits include Leap of Faith on Broadway, for which he won the 2012 Astaire Award for Outstanding Male Dancer on Broadway and was nominated for a Drama League Award; the 2014 musical Venice, which also played at The Public Theater; and the Encores! Off-Center production of Tick,Tick... Boom! which was his first time working with Hamilton creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
On the small screen, Odom, Jr. is best-known for his portrayal of 'Sam Strickland' in the NBC musical series, "Smash," and his recurring role as 'Reverend Curtis Scott' on "Law & Order: SVU." He's also appeared in episodes of "Gotham," "Person of Interest," "Grey's Anatomy," "House of Lies," "Vanished" and "CSI: Miami." On the big screen he starred in the 2012 film, "Red Tails," opposite Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. and David Oyelowo.
Leslie's debut solo album, "Leslie Odom, Jr," was released in June 2016 on S-Curve Records and quickly rose to number one on the Billboard and iTunes Jazz charts.
Look for him this fall in Kenneth Branagh's reimaging of Agatha Christie's, Murder on the Orient Express featuring an all-star cast including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Dame Judi Dench and more.
Odom Jr. was raised in Philadelphia, and currently resides in New York City.
Leslie Odom, Jr., special guest