2021 Tanglewood Music Center Conducting Fellow and two-time recipient of Career Assistance Grants from The Solti Foundation U.S., American conductor Kevin Fitzgerald’s open-hearted presence, innovative programming, and commitment to a modernized musical world, bring him to the forefront of the next generation of conductors. Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra, he is also the founder of the Michigan-based contemporary music ensemble ÆPEX Contemporary Performance, and continues to develop relationships with orchestras, opera companies and arts organizations nationwide.
Upcoming appearances include eight performances with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Kevin will also appear on TMC Festival of Contemporary Music concerts, and will conduct the world premiere performance of Chinese composer Xinyang Wang's "Between the Resonating Abysses", and a performance of Saariaho's "Graal théâtre" with violin soloist Momo Wong. Kevin will also give his subscription debut concerts with the Alabama Symphony in the 2021-22 season with Handel's Messiah.
As comfortable with modern compositions as he is with masterworks, Fitzgerald is champion of contemporary music, and founded ÆPEX Contemporary Performance in 2015. ÆPEX promotes and performs music by under-performed and under-represented twentieth and twenty-first century composers from around the world. With ÆPEX, Fitzgerald has conducted works by Pierre Boulez, Unsuk Chin, George Benjamin, Ashley Fure and Hans Abrahmasen. The group has performed multiple times at New Music Detroit’s “Strange and Beautiful Music Marathon Concert,” at the Max M. Fischer Music Center in Detroit.
Recent guest engagements include the Manhattan School of Music’s (MSM) Symphony Orchestra, serving as preparation conductor for Leonard Slatkin for MSM's April 2019 Centennial Gala Concert in Carnegie Hall, leading the MSM Wind Ensemble, and Connecticut’s Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra. Of special note are two performances from 2017 and 2016: in 2017, Kevin directed musicians from the Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids Symphonies in a successful performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in response to the federal travel ban limiting immigration - as a collaborative reminder of our larger shared humanity. The concert raised over $10,000 for the International Rescue Committee and Freedom House Detroit.
In 2016, he co-organized in under 48 hours an impromptu performance of Mozart’s Requiem Mass in d minor, K.626, with over 400 volunteer musicians. Dedicated to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida., the event, known as “Requiem for Orlando” attracted a full-capacity audience in Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium. Soloists included legendary tenor George Shirley who afterward lauded: “I assure you that the precision, musicality and interpretative incisiveness defining Mo. Fitzgerald’s leadership produced from all involved a result no less impressive than that I have experienced as a soloist in performances with Herbert von Karajan and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.”
Fitzgerald is a native of Brighton, Michigan. He first studied with Ramon Parcells, Principal Trumpet of the Detroit Symphony, before turning to conducting. Fitzgerald holds a Bachelor's degree in Trumpet and Music Theory from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with James Thompson, Mark Scatterday and Brad Lubman, and a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan where he studied conducting with Kenneth Kiesler. He has participated in masterclasses with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, and Matthias Pintscher at the Lucerne Festival Academy, and was the sole American selected to participate in the 2018 Tanglewood Music Center Conducting Seminar.
Kevin splits his residence between Birmingham, AL and Raleigh, NC with his partner, violist Kurt Tseng, and their two dogs Bennie and Chipper.