Teddy Abrams at The Kennedy Center Honors

Broadcast on Sunday, December 15 at 8PM on CBS, The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates the artistry of five icons of the American Arts. Teddy Abrams conducts a select group of musicians from around the world who gathered last weekend to salute Kennedy Center Honoree Michael Tilson Thomas. The celebrated conductor, composer, pianist, and teacher has mentored the careers of hundreds of young musicians through his co-founding of The New World Symphony. However, many in Louisville know that our own conductor Teddy Abrams counts “MTT” as his first and most important musical influence. “Michael has the extraordinary ability to find the ‘ why’ of music and share that. He has a deep understanding of what music wants to convey and how to connect people through the art form,” says Abrams.

Joining Teddy in Washington, D.C. last weekend were former members of the New World Symphony who are now members of the Louisville Orchestra. Trombonist Donna Parks, bassoonist Francisco J. Joubert, and LO Director of Learning and Community/cellist Blake-Anthony Johnson were all directly influenced in their careers by Tilson Thomas. In fact, there are seven current members of the LO who earned a spot in the roster of the New World Symphony before coming to Louisville.

In addition to Tilson Thomas, the Kennedy Center selected music pioneers Earth, Wind & Fire, actor Sally Field, singer Linda Ronstadt, and the television show “Sesame Street” to recognize their exceptional impact on generations of Americans through their creativity and body of work.


The award program will be aired in Louisville metro on WLKY-TV.

Link to the CBS video of the broadcast.

Link to complete information about The Kennedy Center Honors.