Recipient of a prestigious 2020 Career Assistance Award from The Solti Foundation U.S., American conductor Kevin Fitzgerald’s nuanced interpretations, natural leadership and effortless communication skills have established him among the list of today’s rising young conductors. Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, he is also the founder of the Michigan-based contemporary music ensemble ÆPEX Contemporary Performance, and continues to develop relationships with orchestras nationwide.
Upcoming engagements include his subscription debut with The Alabama Symphony Orchestra conducting Handel’s Messiah. Engagements that have been postponed due to COVID-19 include several world premieres of works by composers at the Vienna Summer Music Festival and PHACE Ensemble in June 2020, and the “deep-south” premiere of American composer Laura Kaminsky’s As One with Opera Birmingham in 2021 (now happening in 2022).
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 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.”
Currently based in Birmingham, Alabama, Kevin 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 and a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan where he studied orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler. He has participated in masterclasses with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, and Matthias Pintscher, and was the sole American selected to participate in the 2018 Tanglewood Music Center Conducting Seminar.