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LexPhil appoints Kelly Corcoran as Interim Artistic Advisor; position to be contracted for 12-18 months


The Lexington Philharmonic has announced the appointment of Kelly Corcoran as Interim Artistic Advisor. The Interim Artistic Advisor is a new position created to provide artistic guidance during the 2020-21 season and beyond, until LexPhil is able to safely resume the Music Director & Conductor Search.

“I’m looking forward to connecting with the Lexington community and working together during this unique time to create meaningful artistic experiences to bring joy, health and healing to the community through music,” said Corcoran of the appointment to the newly created position. “Now is a time to reflect, innovate and connect and I’m honored to join the team at the LexPhil in imagining the future.”

Kelly Corcoran

“All of us at the Lexington Philharmonic are delighted to have Kelly join us as the Interim Artistic Advisor,” says Colmon Eridge, III, Lexington Philharmonic Board President. “Her experience and approach to music and its central role to creating a vibrant community is an asset to our organization as LexPhil continues to evolve, respond to the times in which we live, and find new ways to build meaningful connections until we are able to select our next Music Director & Conductor.”

During the fall of 2020, LexPhil staff and leadership identified a need for the creation of the Interim Artistic Advisor, to help shape new programs and select repertoire reflective of the moment to best serve the central Kentucky community. The Lexington Philharmonic Board of Directors called for the creation of the Interim Artistic Advisor Task Force. The Artistic Advisory Task Force was composed of LexPhil Executive Director Allison Kaiser, LexPhil past president Carol McLeod, General and Personnel Manager Sarah Thrall, and Benjamin Karp, principal cello, the delegated musician representative. The Task force defined the position and interviewed candidates, guided by criteria and organizational needs.

“In selecting an individual to fill the role of Interim Artistic Advisor, we were searching for a musician and leader with a demonstrated commitment to using the power of music to inspire greater inclusion and equity, expertise with repertoire for small ensembles, an affinity for innovation and adaptability, and a deep knowledge of the orchestral industry in a time of upheaval,” said Carol McLeod, Lexington Philharmonic Board of Directors past president and chair of the Interim Artistic Advisor Task Force. “In Kelly, we are confident we have found all of these qualities and values.”

“The musicians of the Lexington Philharmonic are excited to welcome Kelly Corcoran back to Lexington as our Interim Artistic Advisor,” says Benjamin Karp, Lexington Philharmonic principal cellist. “Our sadness from the loss of playing for our audience has been overwhelming. With Kelly’s appointment we are thrilled to get back to our mission; performing for Lexington in a variety of new settings, new configurations, and with exciting repertoire, familiar and new. Kelly’s experience is just what we need right now, and we can’t wait to get started.”

While Cocoran was one of the six finalists selected to audition for the position of Music Director and Conductor of the Lexington Philharmonic during the 2019-2020 Season, her appointment as Interim Artistic Advisor followed a separate process from the Music Director Search, and has no bearing on the outcome of the search, currently on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The position of Interim Artistic Advisor will be contracted for a period of 12-18 months, dependent on the public health environment and status of the safety of delivering live performances. The Interim Artistic Advisor will not necessarily include conducting responsibilities.

LexPhil will continue to plan and announce safe and accessible program updates and new initiatives during 2021 at www.lexphil.org. Following the successful LexPhil in Your Neighborhood series, which brought a mobile traveling stage to four Lexington neighborhoods and two outdoor concerts featuring LexPhil ensembles at the Loudoun House, LexPhil’s spring season will expand both of these programs to continue safely and creatively engaging with central Kentucky orchestral music fans. Program updates will be published to www.lexphil.org in early 2021.

Named “Best Classical Conductor” in 2015 by the Nashville Scene, Corcoran is has been an advocate for the robust place of classical music in society. Corcoran is Artistic Director of Intersection, a contemporary music ensemble dedicated to reimagining the traditional concert experience with concerts for all ages. Corcoran conducted the Nashville Symphony for nine seasons both as Associate Conductor and Director of the Symphony Chorus where she conducted the orchestra in hundreds of performances.

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Corcoran has appeared as a guest conductor with many major orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, and National Symphonies, often with return engagements. Abroad, Corcoran has appeared with orchestras in Argentina, England, Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, Mexico and Chile.

Corcoran has worked with a range of artists such as Bela Fleck, Leslie Odom Jr. and Amy Grant, film scores in concert, and as a regular conductor with The Legend of Zelda and National Geographic’s Symphony for our World tours. Corcoran attended the Boston Conservatory and Indiana University. Her primary mentors are Leonard Slatkin and Marin Alsop.

She is an alum of the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship. She also focused on contemporary literature with Pierre Boulez at the Lucerne Festival. Corcoran serves on the Music Faculty at Middle Tennessee State University and Lipscomb University and is pursuing a Master’s in Public Health in Health Behavior from the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

From Lexington Philharmonic


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