Troy Webdell, Youth Education and Family Concert Conductor
Troy Webdell is the Youth Education and Family Concert Conductor for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Music Director, and Conductor of South Shore Orchestra in Valparaiso, Indiana, and the Artistic Director of American Confucian Arts worldwide. American born and trained, Webdell continues to enthrall audiences with his ability to connect people through his eloquent conducting and the language of music. His innovative programming and balance between contemporary music, world music, and the standard orchestral repertoire has created a welcomed niche in the world of classical music.
Maestro Webdell's interest in classical music and culture has impelled him to travel the world, including conducting orchestral concerts throughout China in renown concert halls in over 40 major cities such as Beijing, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Yangzhou, Ningbo, Jiaxing, Shaoxing, Quanzhou, Fuzhou, Cixi, and Zhengzhou, where his interpretations of the Chinese classical music repertoire have been received with critical acclaim. In 2015, Webdell was awarded the “Global Harmony Through Music” award from the Confucius Institute (Beijing) for his work and dedication to create cultural understanding and acceptance through music. In 2018, Webdell was invited to conduct the inaugural concert at the grand opening of the Ulanhot Grand Theatre in Ulanhot, Inner Mongolia. His orchestral concerts have been nationally televised and broadcast on CCTV throughout China and on PBS in the USA.
As an advocate of new and underperformed music, Webdell has conducted the premieres of works and/or collaborated with contemporary composers including Anton Garcia Abril, Roxanna Panufnik, Philip Glass, Mikis Theodorakis, George Kontogiorgos, Li Wenping, Halim El Dabh, Michael Schelle, Miho Sasaki, Alan Hovhaness(Hinako Fujihara), Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, Salvatore Di Vittorio, Irina Grafova, and Ana Milosavljevic among others. Maestro Webdell is also a proponent and experienced conductor of the music of Ottorino Respighi.
As a seasoned opera, musical theater, and ballet conductor, Maestro Webdell has conducted numerous large-scale productions such as West Side Story, The Nutcracker, Carmen, Turandot, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Ragtime, Into The Woods, Evita and many others. Additionally, Webdell received outstanding orchestral direction awards for staged and concert productions of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2001 & 2004), Jason Robert Brown’s PARADE (2005), Mitch Leigh’s Man of La Mancha (2006), Rhapsody in Swing (2012), and the world premiere run of Max Lee’s modern interpretation of the Chinese classic opera Romance of the Western Chamber (2013) which was completely sung and spoken in Mandarin Chinese.
As a Music Educator for over 30 years, Webdell has taught and conducted all levels of instrumental musicians from beginning through professional. Most recently, he was the Director of Orchestras at Purdue University Fort Wayne and continues his role in music education as the conductor of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Orchestras. Under his leadership, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Orchestras have become the premiere orchestral experience for young musicians in Northern Indiana. The Youth Orchestras have been featured on PBS television in the USA and streamed online from China through an international cloud concert that has earned over 3 million views worldwide. The Youth Symphony Orchestra's 2021 performance recording of music from Zorba the Greek has been selected to be included in the official Mikis Theodorakis Archive Museum in Athens, Greece. In March 2022, Maestro Webdell conducted the YSO in a featured concert on the Isaac Stern Auditorium / Ronald O. Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Additionally, Maestro Webdell has been a collaborator in developing El Sistema based youth orchestras in the USA, interactive educational symphony concerts, and community "Unity Event" concerts featuring over 500 community chorus and orchestra musicians. As a conducting clinician and guest speaker, Webdell has presented clinics at the International Music and Confucianism Symposium, and the Indiana Music Educators Association (IMEA) Festivals and State Conventions. In 2017, Webdell was named the Honorary Director of Orchestral Programs for the Nanjing Qinxing Arts Academy in Nanjing which has recently become one of the largest music academies in China.