In 2021, Maestro Kelly Kuo was named Associate Artistic Director of American Lyric Theatre and Music Director of the Reno Chamber Orchestra while continuing his duties as Artistic Director of the Oregon Mozart Players.
Praised by the Cincinnati Enquirer as “a leader of exceptional musical gifts, who has a clear technique on the podium and an impressive rapport with audiences,” Maestro Kelly Kuo brings a dynamic versatility and nuance to a diverse repertoire, which includes nearly 100 operas and an expansive symphonic repertoire as well. Recent engagements include productions with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Opera Orlando, Opera Columbus, Wolf Trap Opera, the Brevard Music Center, and concerts with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Sunriver Music Festival, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and Ballet Fantastique. Maestro Kuo has served on the conducting staff of Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Pacific, Atlanta Symphony, and Cincinnati Symphony.
In 2008, Maestro Kuo became the first conductor of Asian descent to lead a performance at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, making his company debut with Porgy and Bess. He has since returned to lead the Chicago premiere of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird and performances featuring artists of the Ryan Opera Center. Upcoming engagements include his debuts with the Merola Opera Program, New Orleans Opera, the Olympia Symphony Orchestra, a return to Opera Columbus, and leading workshops for American Lyric Theater.
An Oregon native and recipient of a Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistant Award, Kuo continues to concertize as a keyboardist as the only pianist to have studied with two pupils of the Russian virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz. Maestro Kuo is a distinguished graduate of the University of Oregon, holds a master’s degree in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.