Kedrick Armstrong

Kedrick Armstrong is the new Music Director of the Oakland Symphony, becoming the 9th Music Director in the orchestra’s almost 100-year history. He is also the Creative Partner and Principal Conductor of the Knox-Galesburg Symphony.

Kedrick’s recent highlights include debuting at the Lyric Opera of Chicago to premiere a new opera, The Factotum, by Will Liverman and K Rico. He also appeared at the Opera Theater of St. Louis as one of the festival’s assistant/cover conductors (Tosca, Susannah). Guest conducting engagements have included a SummerStage and family concert with the Oakland Symphony, DePaul Opera Theater (Candide), and Chicago Opera Theater (Matthew Recio’s The Puppy Episode). He has also served as assistant conductor for Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride at Chicago Opera Theater and music director for Monteverdi’s L’Orfero with Wheaton College’s Opera Mainstage. Kedrick is on the music staff at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Opera Theater of St. Louis.

Named by the Washington Post as one of “22 for ’22: Composers and performers to watch,” Kedrick uses his voice and platform as a Black conductor to advocate for classical music’s performance, publication, and preservation of minority voices. This advocacy has led to various speaking engagements and a research fellowship with the American Music Research Center (University of Colorado-Boulder) studying Black female composers within the Helen Walker-Hill archives. 

Kedrick spent several seasons as the music mentor/supervisor for “EmpowerYouth! Igniting Creativity through the Arts,” a unique collaboration with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Urban League. He also enjoyed working with Ravinia Festival’s REACH*TEACH*PLAY, Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, and Chicago Sinfonietta’s Audience Matters.

Kedrick is an alum of Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion Freeman Conducting Fellow program, where he served as Assistant Conductor during the 2018-2019 season. He holds a B.M. in History and Literature from Wheaton College and an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Colorado-Boulder. He graduated from the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities. Armstrong has studied with and assisted/covered conductors Mei-Ann Chen, Gary Lewis, John Nelson, Cliff Colnot, and Lidiya Yankovskaya,
among others.

Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.