B i o g r a p h y
American born and trained, Maestro Troy Webdell has enthralled audiences for over 25 years with his ability to connect people through his 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 is the founder, music director, and conductor of South Shore Orchestra, a regional professional orchestra of 70+ musicians located in Valparaiso, Indiana. The South Shore Orchestra has performed numerous concerts throughout the USA and China featuring national and international guest artists. Webdell's interest in world music and culture has taken him on multiple orchestral concert tours throughout China to conduct in renown concert halls in over 40 major cities including Beijing, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Qingdao, Ningbo, Jiaxing, Shaoxing, Quanzhou, Fuzhou, Xiamen, and Xian, where his interpretations of the Chinese classical music repertoire have been received with critical acclaim. His orchestral concerts have been nationally televised and broadcast on CCTV throughout China and on PBS in the USA. In 2013, Maestro Webdell conducted the world premiere and 26 performances of Max Lee’s modern interpretation of the Chinese classic opera Romance of the Western Chamber which was completely sung and spoken in Mandarin Chinese. In 2015, Maestro Webdell and the SSO performed a sold out celebration concert in Chicago's Symphony Center for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The concert featured a 600 member Chinese chorus and SSO performing Xian Xinghai's Yellow River Cantata, the American premiere of Roxanna Panufnik’s Since We Parted, and was broadcast internationally via radio from Chicago to China. In January 2018, Webdell was invited to conduct the inaugural concert at the opening of the new Ulanhot Grand Theatre in Ulanhot, Inner Mongolia which also featured the world premiere of Xiao He’s Long Song.
As an advocate of new music, Webdell has conducted the American and/or world premiere of works and/or collaborated with composers including Anton Garcia Abril, Roxanna Panufnik, Philip Glass, Mikis Theodorakis, George Kontogiorgos, Alan Hovhaness (Hinako Fujihara), Michael Schelle, Miho Sasaki, Halim El Dabh, Ana Milosavljevic, David DeBoor Canfield, Rudolph Dolmetsch, Max Lee, David Crowe, and Erwin Schulhoff.
In May 2018, Maestro Webdell was selected to become the new Director of Youth Orchestras for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Under his leadership, the 88 member Youth Symphony Orchestra performed the North American premiere of Jewish Holocaust composer Erwin Schulhoff’s Menschheit, Symphony for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra as the opening concert for the international Violins of Hope collaboration in the city of Fort Wayne on November 10, 2019. violinsofhopefw.org Additionally, Maestro Webdell will conduct the YSO for a featured concert in the Isaac Stern Auditorium / Ronald O. Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall and embark on a New York City performance tour in June 2021.
As an award winning conductor, Maestro Webdell has earned acclaim for his orchestral conducting in the USA and China, receiving outstanding musical/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), and Mitch Leigh’s Man of La Mancha (2006). 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. 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.
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 (USA) and at the Indiana Music Educators Association (IMEA) Festivals and State Conventions including an instrumental conducting clinic entitled “Conducting Musicians Expressively,” and a music composition clinic entitled "Composing Kids!" In August 2019, Maestro Webdell joined the faculty of the Purdue University Fort Wayne School of Music to conduct the orchestras.