Through his creative programming and enthusiasm for engaging audiences and musicians of all ages, Andrew J. Lyon has built a reputation as an exciting conductor with an eye on the future of the orchestras and repertoire. Alongside a healthy love and respect for the past and present, Lyon’s concerts highlight the balance between yesterday’s classics and today’s masterworks. Since 2006, Lyon’s concerts have included the premiere performances of over 20 works, establishing himself as one of contemporary orchestral music’s strongest proponent.
Lyon currently holds the post of Artistic & Music Director of the 65th Street Klezmorim – Indianapolis’ “Lively & Joyful” klezmer ensemble. During his tenure, the group has seen growth artistically, in its membership (50%), and annual concert offerings. The ensemble has also increased its involvement with the local community, performing at various cultural events across central Indiana and touring the greater Chicago area. Lyon also served as Artistic & Music Director of Indianapolis’ Circle City Chamber Group, an organization he created which produced groundbreaking arts event, bringing together the best of Indianapolis’ visual, culinary, and musical artists, for an all-inclusive arts experience, while also working to cultivate a new audience for Indianapolis’ arts community.
In 2016, Lyon joined the faculty of Ivy Tech Community College (IN), where he restructured the Music Appreciation course syllabus to focus on teaching students to become mindful arts patrons and citizens. In addition to music history and theory, his course now includes sections on music therapy; the benefits of music and music education on mental health and development; and the social, educational, and economic benefits that come from supporting the fine and performing arts in a community.
Recent podium highlights for Lyon have included working with the Markand Thakar and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra; leading members of the Berlin Philharmonic at the Conductors Lab in Aix-en-Provence, France; and receiving a return invitation to join conductor Marin Alsop and Juilliard professor James Ross at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (2014 & 2015). Lyon has also appeared as a guest conductor with Washington, D.C.’s Great Noise Ensemble, the Lyatoshinsky Chamber Orchestra (Kiev), and as a finalist candidate with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
Lyon’s passion for audience cultivation and development has led him to seek out and create new opportunities for musicians and audiences to experience music and art in new and exciting ways. In addition to his work with Circle City, recent endeavors have included creating a summer reading orchestra for local music educators and professionals, called the Indianapolis Music Teachers Orchestra; and the 2008 “Composers Showcase”, where he conducted the world premiere of works by promising young composers.
Along with his exciting concert programs, Lyon’s out-of-the-box marketing, fundraising and cross promotions, have helped in his serving as a marketing, development and administrative consultant for a variety of for- and non-profit organizations. Lyon joined the International Conductors’ Festival staff and served as its Marketing & Development Coordinator for its festivals in Ukraine and the U.S.
Born into an artistically diverse family with deep Mexican and Russian/Eastern European roots, Lyon earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Performance degree at Illinois State University, and his Masters degree at Butler University under the tutelage of Richard Auldon Clark. Lyon has also had the opportunity to work with noted conductors Markand Thakar, Victor Yampolsky, Don Owens, David Epstein and Paul Vermeel. Noted mentors include JoAnn Falletta, Harold Weller, Takayoshi Suzuki, and Harvey Felder.