Executive & Music Director | The National Contemporary Orchestra
Music Director, Saxophonist, Composer | The Anatevka Klezmer Band
Artistic & Executive Director | Arts On The Edge

Personal Website | AndrewJLyon.com

ANDREW J. LYON
MUSIC DIRECTOR

Through his creative programming and enthusiasm for engaging audiences and musicians of all ages, Andrew Lyon has built a reputation as an exciting conductor with an eye on the future of the orchestra and its repertoire. With a love and respect for the past and present, Lyon’s concerts highlight the balance between yesterday’s classics and tomorrow’s masterworks. 

Since 2006, Lyon’s concerts in the US and in Europe have included the American, European, and/or World Premiere performances of over 30 pieces of music.  In 2023, his work showcasing new pieces continues as Lyon becomes the Music Director of the National Contemporary Orchestra, with an eye to the future of the genre’s landscape and its international audience. Other orchestral podium highlights for Lyon have included working with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra; members of the Berlin Philharmonic; and a return invitation by Marin Alsop and James Ross to the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.  Lyon has also appeared as guest conductor with the Lyatoshinsky Orchestra (Kyiv), the Great Noise Ensemble of Washington, D.C., and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra of Indiana.

As a “catalyst conductor”, Andrew has created various organizations and collaborative projects over the years. “Catalyst” highlights include his founding of The Composers Showcase (Indianapolis), the Indianapolis Music Teachers Orchestra (summer reading orchestra), Arts on the Edge (Chicago, 2022-present), and the Circle City Chamber Group (Indianapolis, 2008-2012), the last two being organizations which have produced groundbreaking events that bring together top visual, culinary, and musical artists for an all-new, all-inclusive arts experience, while also working to cultivate a fresh crop of audiences for the cities’ arts communities.

Lyon also launched the Anatevka Klezmer Band in 2019, followed two years later with Anatevka being named “The Official Klezmer Band of the ish! Festival” (Cincinnati).  Anatevka’s children’s and all-ages concerts have been hailed for their fun and engaging presentation of the history of klezmer music (aka Jewish folk music), exploring the origins, stylings, and traditional and contemporary repertoire of the genre that has helped define the Jewish community and culture for over six centuries.

Still, never one to sit still, in 2020 Lyon created the Music Parenting YouTube channel, producing and hosting videos that help parents new to the music world navigate life with a young musician; and Music Appreciation+Review, which offers live online lectures covering various aspects of music and geared towards undergraduate students preparing for graduate entrance exams.

As an educator, and arts advocate, Andrew’s goal is for everyone to enjoy their time with music, be it as a performer, student, or patron. In addition to helping audiences hear and appreciate great music, his work on and off the podium centers around people having an understanding of how experiencing and supporting the arts play important roles in their lives as citizens, taxpayers, and parents – particularly the cultural, economic, and developmental benefits. 

In 2016, Lyon joined the faculty of Ivy Tech Community College (IN), where he restructured the Music Appreciation course to focus on helping students to become more mindful arts patrons and citizens.  In addition to music history and theory, his course now includes lectures on the social and economic benefits that come from supporting the fine arts in a community; the benefits of music education and participation on mental health and development; acoustics and technology; and music therapy.

Born and raised in Chicago, and with deep Eastern European and Mexican roots, Andrew continues to work on advocating and advancing the arts as a conductor, composer, saxophonist, lecturer, and administrator. Noted mentors include Markand Thakar, Richard Auldon Clark, Harold Weller, Takayoshi Suzuki, and Harvey Felder.