American conductor Kyle Dickson has built a reputation as an inspiring and compelling presence on the podium. In 2023 Dickson was named the Assistant Conductor for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program. The recipient of the 2021 Grant Park Music Festival Advocate for the Arts Award, the Concert Artists Guild's Richard S. Weinert Award, and the Joel Revzen Conducting Fellowship, Dickson recently completed the Salonen Conducting Fellowship with the San Francisco Symphony and the Colburn School under the guidance of Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen.
From 2021 Dickson was the Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, previously serving as Music Director of the South Loop Symphony. He has appeared as guest conductor with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, San Francisco, Pasadena, Wichita, and Oakland, and the Chicago Philharmonic. In 23/24 he will make his debuts with the Louisville Orchestra, Portland Symphony, and Marin Symphony, as well as return to the Minnesota Orchestra and Chicago Youth Orchestra. As cover conductor, Dickson has been engaged by the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, and the San Diego Symphony as well as serving as Assistant Conductor for concerts with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Orchestra de Paris, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Dickson was selected as a Conducting Fellow at the 2021 National Orchestral Institute’s Conducting Academy directed by Marin Alsop, where he led the world premiere of Tyler Taylor’s Just Dreams. He also gave the Chicago premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s Soul Force as a Paul Freeman Conducting Fellow under the mentorship of Maestra Mei-Ann Chen.
Passionate about music education and diverse representation in the arts, Dickson has worked regularly with many youth ensembles including the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra Ensembles, the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, Ravinia’s El Sistema program, the Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra, and the Colburn School’s Academy Virtuosi. He served as an Assistant Conductor for Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute 2022 NYO USA/NYO2 Tour and this season will appear as guest conductor at both the 2022 ILMEA District 7 Senior Orchestra Festival and the Chicago Youth in Music Festival.
Through his work with Chicago Sinfonietta's Project Inclusion Ensemble and the string quartet D-Composed, Dickson has given numerous masterclasses, presentations, and webinars for arts programs including the National Symphony Orchestra's 2021 Summer Music Institute, the Naperville School of the Arts, and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Dickson's extensive work with young musicians also includes the debut of the Chicago West Community Music School Orchestra in 2017 and his appointment as Conductor of the South Side Chicago Youth Symphony from 2019-2022.
Trained as a violinist, Dickson was a prizewinner at the 2010 NANM National Concerto Competition and began his career as an orchestral, solo, and chamber musician. He was named 2017 Hyde Park Youth Symphony Artist-In-Residence and has performed with the Grant Park Festival Orchestra, Quad City Symphony, and the Chicago Sinfonietta among others. Dickson appeared regularly as concertmaster of the Chicago Composers Orchestra and was an avid chamber musician, serving on the violin and chamber music faculty at Chicago’s New Music School and holding residencies at Indiana University–South Bend and the United World College of Southeast Asia. His collaborations include work with Chicago-based ensembles including Fifth Wave Ensemble, Crossing Borders Music, and the conductor-less chamber orchestra Unsupervised. Additionally, his playing can be heard on albums by recording artists such as John Legend, Chance the Rapper, and Jessie J as a member of the Matt Jones/Recollective Orchestra. Dickson earned his MM in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University under the tutelage of Victor Yampolsky and received degrees in Violin Performance from DePaul University (MM) and Michigan State University (BM). His principal violin teachers included Walter Verdehr, Laura Roelofs, and Olga Kaler