Scott Terrell


Music Director of the Lexington Philharmonic from 2009-2019, conductor Scott Terrell transformed the orchestra with his imaginative programs, engaging presence, and determined passion for artistic excellence and viability.  An ardent champion of new music and diversity of repertoire, he was a visionary leader with a keen intellect for bringing context to the concert hall. Adept in a broad range of repertoire from masterworks of orchestral canon, new commissions, opera, and works beyond the mainstream, this American conductor can, as critics have noted, “program works that entertain and educate, innovate with new works and revitalize the old.”

In great demand as a guest conductor, this past season included several important debuts including the Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá (Colombia), Fort Worth Symphony and re-engagements with Arizona Opera, Baltimore Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and the Aspen Music Festival and School.  Maestro Terrell debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra in an all-Gershwin program in 2017, as well as debuted with the St. Louis Symphony, Houston Symphony, Vancouver Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.  He has been on the cover conductor staff of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012, assisting Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin and regularly leading their pre-concert lectures.

Maestro Terrell has led many prestigious international organizations including Houston Symphony, Opera Colorado, Opera Hong Kong, Colorado Symphony, Arizona Opera, Hamilton Philharmonic, Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Milwaukee Symphony, Spoleto Festival, Naples Philharmonic, Eugene Symphony, Richmond Symphony, South Dakota Symphony, Kalamazoo Symphony, Wheeling Symphony, Amarillo Symphony, and El Paso Opera.

Having a strong affinity for vocal and operatic repertoire, Maestro Terrell continues a wealth of projects abroad.  This summer, he will lead the Aspen Opera Theater in Missy Mazzoli’s ground-breaking work, Proving Up.  Collaborations with Kentucky Opera have included Stephen Paulus’ oratorio, To Be Certain of the Dawn, Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar.  Recent operatic engagements including Opera Hong Kong gala concerts of Bernstein, and Arizona Opera’s production of The Magic Flute.  He conducted Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires at Fort Worth Opera and Arizona Opera in 2018.  In addition, he led a concert production of Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and Chaplin’s film A Dog’s Life at the 2018 Aspen Music Festival.  Mr. Terrell led a two-week Bernstein festival with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, including orchestral performances and vocal recitals.  Terrell conducted Opera Colorado’s productions of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio.  He has led programs at the Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto Festivals including:  Stravinsky’s ballet Rite of Spring, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.  Additionally, he led the Minnesota Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro.

Mr. Terrell was Music Director of the Lexington Philharmonic for a transformative decade (2009-2019) in the organization’s history.  He re-invigorated and raised the artistic level of the ensemble, expanded collaborations, increased audience and community support.   He created and endowed both a Composer-in-Residence and an Artist-in-Residence chair.  Composers commissioned have included Daniel Thomas-Davis, Daniel Kellogg, Adam Schoenberg, Avner Dorman, and Chris Brubeck.  The orchestra was awarded numerous Copland Awards, highlighting his ongoing commitment to contemporary American composers such as Missy Mazzoli, Jennifer Higdon, Gabriela Franck, Joan Tower, Christopher Rouse, John Adams, Michael Gandolfi, Philip Glass, Mason Bates, Roberto Sierra, Christopher Theofanidis, Osvaldo Golijov, and Chris Brubeck. 

Maestro Terrell has presented many innovative theatrical projects during his Lexington Philharmonic tenure that helped significantly to grow audiences.  They included Philip Glass’ Icarus at the Edge of Time, Peter Boyer’s The Dream of Ellis Island, Holst’s The Planets HD, Christopher Theofanidis’ The Legend of the Northern Lights, and Charlie Chaplin’s Gold Rush.  In addition, he initiated and secured funding for the Artist-in-Residence partnership with the University of Kentucky Medical Center – bringing artists Midori, Johannes Moser, Inon Barnatan, Simone Porter, Pablo Sainz-Villegas, Time for Three, and the Canadian Brass. 

Multi-media presentations have been a staple in Maestro Terrell’s diverse repertoire; in particular his growing collaborations with film scores and crossover-artists.  He has conducted films scores including Wizard of Oz, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Psycho, Casablanca, Star Wars: A New Hope, Home Alone, and The Nightmare Before Christmas with many orchestras worldwide. He has been a regular collaborative partner with the Colorado Symphony, leading their presentations of The Magical World of Harry Potter, A Colorado Christmas, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre’s concert of Indie pop band Belle and Sebastian.

read morePreviously, Maestro Terrell served as Resident Conductor and Director of Education for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and prior to that was Assistant Conductor of Minnesota Orchestra.  A native of Michigan, Maestro Terrell is a graduate of Western Michigan University, and the University of Minnesota in orchestral conducting.  In 2000, Terrell was chosen as a fellowship conductor for the inaugural season of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival under Music Director, David Zinman.  He has participated in master classes with such distinguished conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, Jorma Panula, and David Robertson.  At Aspen, he was awarded the prestigious Conducting Prize from David Zinman, an award recognizing exemplary musicianship and promise.

-Updated 7/19