Maestro Robert Lyall is widely known as a conductor of opera, symphony, and ballet and served as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of New Orleans Opera for 25 years, Opera Grand Rapids for 27 years, Knoxville Opera, and Mississippi Opera in addition to serving as Music Director of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Istanbul State Opera in Turkey from 1998-2000.
Maestro Lyall made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1998 with the New England Symphony. Guest engagements have included work at Seattle Opera, Cleveland Opera, The Chautauqua Festival, Opera Carolina, Hawaii Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Symphonic engagements include the Las Palmas Symphony, Guadalajara Symphony, Guanajuato Symphony, The New World Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Prince George Philharmonic, the Asheville Symphony, Corpus Christi Symphony, Knoxville Symphony. Lyall has led ballet productions for the Dallas Ballet, Fort Worth Ballet, San Antonio Ballet, Corpus Christi Ballet, and Chattanooga Ballet.
International guest appearances include performances with Italy’s Arena of Verona, the Bulgarian State Opera’s tour of the Netherlands; and his Russian debut at the Rostov State Musical Theatre with Puccini’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY, which was nominated for Russia’s leading arts award, “The Golden Mask,” for which he also conducted performances in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Lyall returned to the Rostov State Musical Theatre in 2006 to conduct MADAMA BUTTERFLY for their 75th Anniversary Festival and transcribed the English-language score of Pasatieri’s opera THE SEAGULL into the original Russian of Chekov’s celebrated play for the opera’s Russian premiere.
Significant performance highlights include a production of Mozart’s THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO at Istanbul’s Topkopei Palace in honor of the 700th Anniversary of the founding of the Ottoman Empire; the world premiere of Thea Musgrave’s opera PONTALBA, commissioned for the 2003 bicentennial celebration of the Louisiana Purchase; a production of the American classic, SUSANNAH, by Carlisle Floyd, broadcast on Public Television; and Arts Awards for productions of Previn’s A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, Wagner’s DIE WALKURE, Puccini’s TURANDOT, Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI, Offenbach’s THE TALES OF HOFFMANN, and Wagner’s SIEGFRIED.
Among his many awards and distinctions, Maestro Robert Lyall was Knighted by the French government in 2016 as a "Chevelier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres."