Meet Maestro Kellen Gray

Nostalgia and Nature

Saturday, March 29, 2025

Stewart Goodyear, Piano


PRICE Piano Concerto in One Movement

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4

Maestro Kellen Gray’s program explores beautiful memories and outdoor delights. Dvořák’s My Home was originally written to accompany a patriotic theatrical production, and for it the composer draws from the song “Where is my Home?,” which today is the Czech national anthem.

Similarly, American composer Florence Price’s 1934 piano concerto uses the hymns and spirituals of her youth as the source for her best-known concerto, performed by the internationally-acclaimed Stewart Goodyear, a
Tallahassee favorite!

Rounding out the program is Beethoven’s gleeful and spirited Fourth Symphony, written at the country estate of his patron Prince Lichnowsky as he enjoyed a daily tonic of outdoor delights—sunshine, warmth, fresh air, and the sounds of nature.

Hungry for more?

Have Lunch with the Maestro!

Join us at the Governors Club for an elegant lunch-and-learn with each conductor candidate. Meals are $30 each and may be added to your ticket order or purchased separately up to a week in advance of each event. 

Be a part of the process;

Join the Conductor’s Circle!

Help shape the future of the TSO! As a member of the Conductor’s Circle, you will provide valuable feedback on the Conductor candidates and more fully participate in our search.

Q & A with Kellen

Learn more about Conductor Kellen Gray

Scotland-based American conductor Kellen Gray has “earned a reputation as a versatile and imaginative artist through his diverse array of traditional and experimental programming, thrilling performances, and provocative multimedia concert experience curation,” according to Broadway World

2024-2025 marks Gray’s second season as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s first-ever Associate Artist, a role earned after a two-year tenure as Assistant Conductor, in which he conducts, curates, and presents programs across the RSNO’s series offerings. Simultaneous to his RSNO role, Kellen also serves as one of the Assistant Conductors at the English National Opera and maintains a consistent working relationship with the National Symphony Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra. Prior to his UK appointments, Gray completed respective tenures as Associate Conductor of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of Chicago Sinfonietta, and Assistant Conductor of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. 

The Scotsman gave Kellen’s Royal Scottish National Orchestra subscription debut 4-stars. Of the same performance, Vox Carnyx: Scotland’s Voice for Classical Music and Opera reported he unfolded the smooth, mellifluous contours with patience and understanding. Kellen’s 2022 debut album, African-American Voices with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Linn Records received 5-stars from Pizzicato(UK); Kellen pays attention to the minute details of Still’s warm score, while he revels in the romantic outbursts and continual changes of pace that shake up Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony, stated Musikzen(France).

Kellen is a native of South Carolina and credits the many folk music styles of the southeastern United States as his earliest and most impactful musical influences. Though most known for his mastery of the works that feature American folk idioms, his thrilling performances of other folk-based composers such as Bela Bartok, Manuel de Falla, and Ralph Vaughan Williams root from the same passionate pursuit of authenticity.  

As a champion for African-diasporic composers, Kellen is the founder and curator of the Charleston Symphony’s Project Aurora, a programming and performance initiative aiming to illustrate the importance of African-American arts and culture as equally valuable to its European equivalent, as well as Assistant Editor and Conductor Liaison for the African Diasporic Music Project.  His performances of William Dawson, William Grant Still, Coleridge Taylor Perkinson, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, and George Walker have received critical acclaim. “Under Gray’s sure-footed direction, the RSNO (particularly the brass and the all-important woodwind) bring out all the bluesy flavour of this essentially neo-Romantic music. The infectious third movement, with its clear anticipation of Gershwin’s ‘I Got Rhythm’ (the two composers were close colleagues), has long been a popular concert favourite on its own. Here, it’s the depth of feeling and tone that Gray and his musicians uncover in the other three movements (not least the noble-toned finale) that makes this performance a winner,” writes Europadisk.

His recent and coming conducting endeavors include: the Philharmonia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra(USA), Seattle Opera, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, English National Opera, Chineke! Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Mozart Players, Spoleto Festival USA, Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Philharmonic, Northwest Florida Symphony, Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, Savannah Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra.

Learn more about Pianist Steward Goodyear

Proclaimed “a phenomenon” by the Los Angeles Times, Stewart Goodyear is an
accomplished concert pianist, improviser, and composer. Goodyear has performed
with many of the major orchestras and chamber music organizations around the
world. His extensive discography includes concertos by Tchaikovsky, Grieg, and
Rachmaninoff, the latter of which received a Juno nomination for Best Classical Album
for Soloist and Large Ensemble Accompaniment. This will be his third appearance with
the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra.