Philip David Morehead (1942- )

Philip David Morehead (1942- ) is the Head of Music Staff of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists. His previous positions at the Lyric Opera of Chicago have included the Music Administrator and Chorus Master, and Assistant Conductor.

Biography[edit | edit source]

He was born in 1942 to Albert Hodges Morehead (1909-1966) in New York City and learned to play the piano at age 4. He attended Trinity School in New York City, The Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Swarthmore College where he majored in French, Harvard University where he majored in musicology and received an M.S., and the New England Conservatory of Music. He then studied for two years in Paris and in Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger. He later married Patricia.

Prior to 1978, Morehead lived in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was the Musical Director of the New England Chamber Opera Group, where he conducted the American premieres of Busoni's Arlecchino and Handel's Imeneo, the world premiere of Paul Earls' The Death of King Phillip, in addition to other works including Stravinsky's Mavra and Menotti's The Medium. He was also the Musical Director of the Newton Chamber Orchestra and the Brookline Symphony Orchestra. He was the assistant conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the rehearsal pianist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and for seven years he was a member of the faculty of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood. He has performed as a pianist and harpsichordist, and played continuo with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and Leonard Bernstein.

Before he became a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1981, he was Coordinator of the Orchestral Training Program at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. His previous positions in Canada included the conductorship of the Bach-Elgar Choral Society in Hamilton, Ontario. From 1984 to 1985 he conducted for the Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop concerts including the Canadian premiere of Bernd Alois Zimmermann's Concerto for Oboe. From 1981 to 1985 he worked with Tulsa Opera in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In Spring of 1983 he conducted student performances of Puccini's Madame Butterfly, and in 1984 he conducted the Spring production of Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance.

Morehead was the cover conductor for the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Die Meistersinger, Jenufa, Der fliegende Holländer, Sweeney Todd, Billy Budd and others. He conducted performances of Die Fledermaus and the premiere production of Anthony Davis's Amistad and student performances of La Traviata, The Cunning Little Vixen, and Carmen. He also conducted performances of Rossini's Cinderella for the Ryan Opera Center.

Morehead is also a free-lance pianist, harpsichordist, and conductor. His conducting includes performances of Boulez' Improvisations sur Malarmé for the Contemporary Chamber Players at the University of Chicago and Gounod's Faust at Illinois State University. He is a founding member and President of CUBE, the Chicago-based chamber ensemble specializing in the performance of new music. With the CUBE ensemble he has performed as pianist in a wide variety of repertoire and has conducted the ensemble in world premieres of William Ferris An Eden Garden, and Sebastian Huydt's Three Serious Songs, Russ Grazier's Leaving, Arriving. Morehead currently resides in Boston.

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