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Keith Lockhart: A Quality of Inspiration

Mike Lawson • Archives • October 24, 2006

By Jennifer H. McInerney

He’s waving his baton wildly. He’s high on his toes, then dipping deeply, then pointing directly at the French horns. He smiles. He raises his eyebrows. His entire being speaks to the Boston Pops, who are arranged in an arc before him.

Conductor Keith Lockhart, who describes his own conducting style as “very unselfconscious,” has been communicating with musicians in his silent, expressive language since his junior year of high school in 1976. A product of public school music education in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., Lockhart took the helm whenever his music teacher was called away to a faculty meeting during class.

“Conducting has always come naturally to me. The very first time, I felt very comfortable in that position, very in control — not in an arrogant way. I just didn’t feel like it was a place I shouldn’t be,” Lockhart, 42, remembers. “On the other hand, when I played piano solos of concerti, I was scared to death every moment of the entire thing.”

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