“Playing a Steinway opens a portal between you and the generations of musicians, past and present, that have all made music on these instruments that are certainly the apotheosis of design and quality. My own Steinway is just over 100 years old, and though I only know part of my piano’s history, I often imagine the beautiful journey of this instrument, offering pianists and their families the joy of musical communion and celebration. Each time I’ve encountered a great Steinway I’m still inspired by that ideal, gorgeous ringing sound that feels both wondrously new and comfortingly familiar.”

Teddy Abrams

Teddy Abrams, Musical America’s 2022 Conductor of the Year, starts his tenth season as Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra (LO) this fall. As profiled by CBS Sunday Morning, the New Yorker, NPR, Opera News, the Wall Street Journal, PBS’s Articulate, and PBS NewsHour, he has been the galvanizing force behind the orchestra’s extraordinary artistic renewal and commitment to innovative community engagement since inaugurating his appointment in September 2014.

The past season saw Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra launch their trailblazing Creators Corps initiative: a fully funded residency for three composers who receive local housing, a salary, health benefits and dedicated work spaces. Abrams is also a prolific and award-winning composer himself. In April 2023, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bass-baritone Davóne Tines and a cast of local musicians, he and the LO descended into Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s longest known underground cave system, to perform Abrams’s Mammoth, an immersive theater work dedicated to all those who have explored the cave over the past 5,000 years. Two weeks after this milestone event, he and the LO embarked on the inaugural leg of “In Harmony – The Commonwealth Tour of the Louisville Orchestra,” a historic multi-season state tour backed by a funding commitment from the Kentucky State Legislature.

Besides Mammoth, Abrams’s recent compositional highlights include Space Variations, a collection of three new pieces for Universal Music Group’s 2022 World Sleep Day; and a piano concerto for his regular collaborator Yuja Wang, with which he and the Louisville Orchestra made their Deutsche Grammophon debuts on the virtuoso pianist’s March 2023 release, The American Project. Abrams is now at work on ALI, a new Broadway musical about boxing legend and activist Muhammad Ali, which is scheduled to receive its fall 2024 world premiere in Louisville, the boxer’s birthplace, before opening on Broadway in spring 2025. Abrams first began exploring Ali’s life and legacy in 2016, and the LO premiered his rap opera, The Greatest: Muhammad Ali, the following year. Their all-star cast featured Rhiannon Giddens, Jubilant Sykes, and activist-musician Jecorey “1200” Arthur, now one of Louisville’s Metro councilmen, with whom Abrams went on to found the Louisville Orchestra Rap School.

The rap opera is just one of the adventurous collaborations Abrams has initiated in Louisville. With Jim James, vocalist and guitarist for My Morning Jacket, he composed the song cycle The Order of Nature, which they premiered with the Louisville Orchestra and reprised with the National Symphony Orchestra at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, before recording it for Decca Gold. Similarly, with singer-songwriter Storm Large, Abrams and the LO recorded All In, a celebration of American music by Cole Porter, Aaron Copland, and Abrams and Large themselves, also for release by Decca Gold.

In summer 2023, Abrams concludes his ten-year tenure as Music Director and Conductor of Oregon’s Britt Festival Orchestra. As well as helming its annual three-week festival of concerts, Abrams led the orchestra on tour in the Pacific Northwest with new works including Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw’s experiential Brush, written for their summer 2021 performance on the Jacksonville Woodlands Trail system, and Michael Gordon’s Natural History. Their world premiere performance of Gordon’s work at the edge of Crater Lake National Park, presented in partnership with the National Park Service, was the subject of the PBS documentary Symphony for Nature.

As a guest conductor, Abrams remains in high demand. After making his Hollywood Bowl debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and returning to Ravinia to lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in August 2023, he makes his Helsinki and Buffalo Philharmonic debuts this winter. Highlights of the 2022-23 season included engagements with the Cincinnati, Colorado, Kansas City, Pacific and Utah Symphonies; a return to the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg; and a debut with Innsbruck’s Tyrol Symphony Orchestra. He has also previously conducted such distinguished North American ensembles as the San Francisco, National, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Vancouver and Phoenix Symphonies; the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; and the Florida and Sarasota Orchestras. Internationally, he previously conducted the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Malaysian Philharmonic. Earlier in his career, Abrams served as Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony (2012–14) and as Conducting Fellow and Assistant Conductor of the New World Symphony (2008–11).

Teddy Abrams is a Steinway Artist.

Visit Steinway

Find a retail location to see a Steinway piano in person.

Find a Location
Contact Us

Have all your questions answered — by phone or email.

Our Newsletter

Keep abreast of Steinway & Sons in the news and the arts.

Stay In Touch