Keith Lockhart is Conductor of the Boston Pops and Artistic Director of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina (U.S.).
2020 marked his 25th anniversary as Conductor of the Boston Pops, a tenure that includes over 2,000 performances, 45 national tours to more than 150 cities, and four international tours. He and the Pops have made 80 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, most recently, Game 2 of the 2018 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. The annual July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular draws a live audience of more than half a million, with millions more who watch on television or live webcast.
From 2010-2018, Keith was Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, and he spent a two-year term as Chief Guest Conductor following his initial appointment. Highlights of his tenure include critically acclaimed North American tours, conducting annual performances at The Proms, and celebrating the orchestra’s 60th year in 2012. In June of that same year, Keith conducted the orchestra during Queen Elizabeth II’s gala Diamond Jubilee Concert, which was broadcast around the world.
In October 2007, Keith succeeded David Effron as Artistic Director of the Brevard Music Center Summer Institute and Festival. The Brevard Music Center (BMC) has established itself as one of the nation’s leading summer institutes for gifted young musicians, preparing them to perform great musical works at a high artistic level. His appointment solidifies an already special relationship with BMC, which he attended as a teenager for two summers (1974, 1975).
Keith concluded 11 seasons as Music Director of the Utah Symphony in 2009. He led that orchestra through the complete symphonic works of Gustav Mahler and brought them to Europe on tour for the first time in two decades. He stood at the front of that organization’s historic merger with the Utah Opera to create the first-ever joint administrative arts entity, the Utah Symphony and Opera. Since the merger, arts institutions nationally and internationally have looked to Keith as an example of an innovative thinker on and off the podium. Keith conducted three “Salute to the Symphony” television specials broadcast regionally, one of which received an Emmy award, and, in December 2001, he conducted the orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in a national PBS broadcast of Vaughan Williams’ oratorio Hodie. He led the Utah Symphony during Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and conducted two programs for the 2002 Olympic Arts Festival. Under Keith’s baton, the Utah Symphony released its first recording in two decades, Symphonic Dances, in April 2006.
Keith Lockhart has conducted nearly every major orchestra in North America, as well as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Vienna Radio Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, the New Japan Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In October 2012, he made his London Philharmonic debut in Royal Albert Hall. In the opera pit, Keith has conducted productions with the Atlanta Opera, Washington Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Utah Opera.
Keith served as Music Director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra for seven years, completing his tenure in 1999. Under his leadership, the orchestra doubled its number of performances, released recordings, and developed a reputation for innovative and accessible programming. Keith also served as Associate Conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra from 1990 to 1995.
Born in Poughkeepsie, NY, he began his musical studies on piano at the age of 7, and holds degrees from Furman University and Carnegie Mellon University; Keith also holds honorary doctorates from the Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Northeastern University, Furman University, and Carnegie Mellon University, among others. He was the 2006 recipient of the Bob Hope Patriot Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and was a recipient of the 2017 Commonwealth Award, Massachusetts’ highest cultural honor.