Celebrating his twentieth anniversary as Boston Pops Conductor, 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 was at the helm of the orchestra for nearly fifty years. Keith Lockhart has conducted nearly 1,700 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, forty national tours to 134 cities in 33 states, and four international tours to Japan and Korea. The annual July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular was featured on national network television through 2013; this past summer the first-ever Boston Pops webcast brought the event to 1.3 million music fans worldwide. The list of more than 250 guest artists with whom Keith Lockhart has collaborated represents performers from virtually every corner of the entertainment world.
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. He and the Pops were a major inspiration behind the creation of BSO Classics, the in-house recording label for both the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. Recent releases include The Red Sox Album, A Boston Pops Christmas–Live from Symphony Hall, and The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers—featuring narrators Robert De Niro, Ed Harris, Morgan Freeman, and Cherry Jones—which was a Boston Pops commission premiered in 2010 during the orchestra’s 125th season.
Keith Lockhart’s increased focus on musical theater has attracted leading Broadway artists 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. With a renewed commitment to the Boston community, Keith Lockhart and the Pops have appeared at gubernatorial and mayoral inauguration ceremonies; the annual tree lighting in Boston’s Public Garden; major sporting events, and the memorial service for the Boston Marathon bombing victims. He has led free concerts at Boston Common and Franklin Park, and each holiday season brings members of the Pops to play for patients at Children’s Hospital.
In addition to occupying the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops Conductor chair, Keith Lockhart currently serves as principal conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in London, which he led in the June 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II, and as 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 several 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.
The Boston Pops, in its 130th year, has a rich and storied history that began with its founding in 1885. The Boston Pops Orchestra has distinguished itself as the founder of and leader in its genre, presenting the best of a wide variety of music from jazz to pop, indie rock to big band, film music to the great American songbook, and Broadway to classical. Although Arthur Fiedler's nearly 50-year tenure as Pops conductor (1930-1979) established the Boston Pops as a national icon, Conductor Laureate John Williams (1980-1993) and present-day conductor Keith Lockhart (1995-present) have shepherded the orchestra through three decades of tumultuous change in the world of music. The Boston Pops, "America's Orchestra," performs for an audience of nearly 900,000 people annually in Boston, across the country and around the world, and reaches millions more through its recordings and television broadcasts. For more information, visit www.bostonpops.org.