Kevin Purcell (Music)

Kevin PurcellKevin is one of Australia’s most distinguished orchestra and opera conductors having conducted all over the world for the past thirty years.
He is also an award-winning musical theatre composer and much sought after arranger and orchestrator of the American songbook. His orchestrations have been performed by leading American orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra, New York Pops, Boston Pops and for artists including, Kristin Chenoweth, Ann Hampton Callaway, Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty, and Stephen Schwartz.

A recipient of a scholarship to study conducting at the Moscow Conservatory (1992) and subsequently awarded the Willem van Otterloo Fellowship and Bellhouse Conducting Prize (1993) to study at Opera Australia with ex-Glyndebourne Music Director, Myer Fredman, Kevin then moved to the UK in 1994. Whilst in London, he was mentored by, and assisted, Sir Charles Mackerras for several years during which time he also received the Australian Music Foundation in London ‘Sir Charles Mackerras Prize’ (1995) and the Tait Memorial Trust Award (1996).

Kevin studied conducting at the prestigious Janáček Academy of Music (JAMU) in the Czech Republic with Dr. Otakar Trhlík and for several years in the USA with distinguished American conducting pedagogue, Harold Farberman at Bard College (New York).

In Europe, Kevin has conducted Ensemble Intercontemporain at the Paris Conservatory, Hradec Králové Filharmonie, Beethoven Chamber Orchestra, Königsgrätz Philharmonic, West Bohemia Symphony Orchestra, Georgian State Television and Radio Orchestra, Dinu Lipatti Philarmonic and the Silesian State Opera to mention only a few.

Kevin was appointed to the position of Principal Conductor of the Australian Discovery Orchestra in June 2015. The orchestra’s purpose is to afford professional-level orchestral musicians the opportunity to perform together in repertoire both familiar and new and, to showcase the works of the most exciting Australian composers. The ADO is one of the world’s most innovative and exciting orchestral initiatives. Its concerts are streamed in high-definition with each event providing immersive and interactive opportunities for a global audience.

During June and July 2016, Kevin recorded a forthcoming CD of the music of Grammy Award winning and 7-time Emmy nominated composer Nan Schwartz and the eminent Australian composer, Brenton Broadstock for release in 2017. Also in 2017, in conjunction with ASCAP, Kevin will record a new CD of the music of the most prominent writers of new generation of American Musical Theatre.

Kevin’s introduction to West End theatre came courtesy of Cameron Mackintosh and the Really Useful Group, when invited to take over musical direction of the long-running production of CATS at the New London Theatre in the mid-90s. In July 2003, Kevin renewed his association for RUG, as musical director for the South Korean premiere of this show. More recently, Kevin has conducted WICKED at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre and was the initial musical director for the first national UK/Eire tour (2013).

As Director of Quill & Quaver Associates LLC in the USA, Kevin continues to develop new strategies and applications in Transmedia Storytelling in relation to entertainment futures for Classical Music, Opera and Theatre in the digital sphere. Kevin holds the degrees of Ph.D., M.F.A., M.Mus., and B.A. in addition to several Graduate Diplomas.

Kevin is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild of America,  Mercury Musicals Development (UK) a Board member for The Conductors Guild (USA) and an Associate member of the  National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT). He divides his time between New York, London and Melbourne.

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