July 18, 2013

Teddy Abrams: Rising Star Conductor

By Michael Zwiebach

Teddy Abrams is a triple threat musician – conductor, composer, and performer – who was once a prodigy but is now another working musician. Bypassing high school and entering Laney College at age 11, he also played in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and subsequently attended the S.F. Conservatory of Music, while becoming a conducting protégé of Michael Tilson Thomas. He further studied conducting at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and at the Aspen Festival with David Zinman. MTT brought him to the New World Symphony as an assistant, where he took over all educational activities. In 2009, his outreach concerts were webcast to schools throughout South Florida.

Last year, Abrams became the assistant conductor at the Detroit Symphony, where, again he took over all the educational concerts, as well as doing a number of other concerts through the year. Now 26, he’s an established musician with a lot of good sense about what being a musician means and how to handle the challenges of a career, which is what he talked about in this interview with SFCV.

Becoming a Conductor

In this video, Abrams tells his story of becoming a professional musician and conductor. Then he muses on the magical, “Harry Potter” moment when you pick up the conducting baton and something electric happens between you and the musicians.

Becoming a Conductor on YouTube

Children’s Outreach Concerts

Abrams outlines the philosophy behind his highly successful childrens’ concerts.

Children’s Outreach Concerts on YouTube

Career Advice from One Young Musician to Another

How do you make the transition from prodigy to musician, from intrepid adventurer to busy professional with dozens of responsibilities, without losing your fire? What do you need to be a musician in the world today and tomorrow? Here are Abrams’ thoughts.

Career Advice from One Young Musician to Another on YouTube

Michael Zwiebach is the senior editor/ content manager for SFCV. He assigns all articles and content, manages the writing staff and does editing. A member of SFCV from the beginning, Michael holds a Ph.D. in music history from the University of California, Berkeley.

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