American conductor Kyle Dickson is quickly building a reputation as an innovative and compelling presence on the podium. Recipient of the 2021 Grant Park Music Festival Advocate for Arts Award, Dickson is a Salonen Conducting Fellow with the San Francisco Symphony under the guidance of Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen through the Negaunee Conducting Program at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.
He is an Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, and he previously served as Music Director of Chicago’s South Loop Symphony. Dickson was selected as a Conducting Fellow at the 2021 National Orchestral Institute’s Conducting Academy with Marin Alsop and James Ross and is a recipient of the Richard S. Weinert Award from Concert Artists Guild. For two seasons, Dickson was a Project Inclusion Freeman Conducting Fellow under the mentorship of Chicago Sinfonietta Music Director Mei-Ann Chen and has served as cover conductor for the New York Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra. He has appeared as Guest Conductor with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and served as Assistant Conductor to Esa-Pekka Salonen at the NDR Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Orchestre de Paris and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Dickson fosters an ardent passion for music education and has regularly coached many youth ensembles including the Chicago Youth Symphony Ensembles, the Sphinx Organization's Overture program, New Music School, and the Hyde Park Youth Symphony. In 2018, Dickson debuted the Chicago West Community Music School Orchestra. Through his work with Chicago Sinfonietta's Project Inclusion Ensemble and D Composed-Chicago, he has given numerous masterclasses and webinars for arts programs including the National Symphony Orchestra's 2021 Summer Music Institute, the Naperville School of the Arts, Boulder Suzuki Strings, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and Ravinia’s El Sistema program. As a chamber musician, Dickson has held residencies at Indiana University-South Bend and the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore.
A native of Detroit, Dickson began his career as a violinist, attending Marvin Winans Academy of Performing Arts as well as the Sphinx Institute of Music. He was a prize winner at the 2012 NANM National Concerto Competition and the 2008 James Tatum Foundation for the Arts Scholarship Competition. He was the recipient of the 2010 Spaulding-Gulliver Award in Music from Michigan State University and has appeared as a soloist with the Chicago Sinfonietta, MSU Concert Orchestra, Chicago Solisti, and the Undergraduate Chamber Symphony. As an orchestral musician, he has also performed with the Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra, Lansing Symphony, and the Quad Cities Symphony. Dickson has appeared frequently as Concertmaster of Chicago Composers Orchestra and was a member of the Chicago based D-Composed String Quartet.
Dickson earned his Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting at Northwestern University where he led performances as Assistant Conductor of the University's Baroque Music Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. His principal conducting teachers were Victor Yampolsky and Dr. Robert Hasty. Dickson also received degrees in Violin Performance from Michigan State University (BM) and DePaul University (MM). His principal violin teachers include Olga Kaler, Walter Verdehr, and Laura Roelofs.