Philip Morehead

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Philip David Morehead
Morehead circa 2006
ChildrenJames Morehead, Keren Morehead, Ian Morehead
Parent(s)Albert Hodges Morehead Loy Claudon Morehead

Philip David Morehead (born 1942) recently retired as head of music staff of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center (formerly the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists). His previous positions at the Lyric Opera of Chicago have included Music Administrator and Chorus Master.


He was born in New York City in 1942, the son of writer Albert Hodges Morehead, and learned to play the piano at age 4.[1][2] He attended Trinity School in New York City, The Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Swarthmore College where he majored in French, Harvard University where he majored in musicology and received an M.A., and the New England Conservatory of Music where he majored in piano performance and received an M.M. He then studied for two years in Paris and in Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger. He later married Patricia Noonan of Winnipeg, Manitoba.[1][3]

Prior to 1978, Morehead lived in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was the musical director of the New England Chamber Opera Group, where he conducted the American premieres of Busoni's Arlecchino and Handel's Imeneo, the world premiere of Paul Earls' The Death of King Phillip, in addition to other works including Stravinsky's Mavra and Menotti's The Medium. He was also the musical director of the Newton Chamber Orchestra and the Brookline Symphony Orchestra. He was the assistant conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the rehearsal pianist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and for seven years he was a member of the faculty of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood. He has performed as a pianist and harpsichordist, and played continuo with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and Leonard Bernstein.[2]

Before he joined the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1981, he was coordinator of the Orchestral Training Program at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.[1][4] His previous positions in Canada included the conductorship of the Bach-Elgar Choir in Hamilton, Ontario. From 1984 to 1985 he conducted for the Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop concerts including the Canadian premiere of Bernd Alois Zimmermann's Concerto for Oboe. From 1981 to 1985 he worked with Tulsa Opera in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In Spring of 1983 he conducted student performances of Puccini's Madame Butterfly, and in 1984 he conducted the Spring production of Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance.[2]

Morehead was the cover conductor for the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Die Meistersinger, Jenůfa, Der fliegende Holländer, Sweeney Todd, Billy Budd and others. He conducted performances of Un ballo in maschera, The Mikado and Die Fledermaus and the premiere production of Anthony Davis's Amistad [5] and student performances of La traviata, The Cunning Little Vixen, and Carmen. He also conducted performances of Rossini's Cinderella for the Ryan Opera Center.[2]

Morehead is also a free-lance pianist, harpsichordist, and conductor. His conducting includes performances of Boulez' Improvisations sur Malarmé for the Contemporary Chamber Players at the University of Chicago and Gounod's Faust at Illinois State University. He is a member and treasurer of CUBE, the Chicago-based chamber ensemble specializing in the performance of new music.[4] With the CUBE ensemble he has performed as pianist in a wide variety of repertoire and has conducted the ensemble in world premieres of William Ferris An Eden Garden, and Sebastian Huydt's Three Serious Songs, Russ Grazier's Leaving, Arriving. Morehead is also on the board of directors of the Conductors Guild and is a member of the Artistic and Awards Committee of the Solti Foundation U.S. Morehead currently resides in Dwight, Ontario, Canada, is married to Patricia Morehead, PhD. (composer) and has three adult children (James, Keren and Ian).[2]


  • New American Roget's College Thesaurus, ISBN 0-451-20716-5
  • New American Crossword Puzzle Dictionary, ISBN 0-451-21255-X
  • The New American Webster's Handy College Dictionary ISBN 0-451-18166-2
  • Hoyle's Rules of Games, ISBN 0-451-20484-0



  1. ^ a b c "Philip Morehead '60; Head of Music Staff, Conductor". Baylor School. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-21. Philip Morehead ’60 does not have a short answer when asked what he does for a living. He is currently Head of Music Staff and sometime-conductor at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In his 25-year stint with the company, he has served as music administrator, chorus master, and assistant conductor. He also plays keyboards and conducts for the Chicago-based contemporary chamber ensemble CUBE and is a freelance pianist, harpsichordist, and conductor.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Philip Morehead; Conductor, Pianist, Harpsichordist". Philip David Morehead. Retrieved 2007-08-21. Philip Morehead is Head of Music Staff of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists. His previous positions at Lyric have included Music Administrator and Chorus Master, and Assistant Conductor. In recent years Mr. Morehead has been cover conductor at Lyric Opera for Die Meistersinger, Jenůfa, Der fliegende Holländer, Sweeney Todd, Billy Budd and many others. He conducted regular season performances of Die Fledermaus and of the premiere production of Anthony Davis's Amistad and student performances of La traviata, The Cunning Little Vixen, and Carmen. In addition to repertoire coaching and work in preparation of Lyric Opera and Ryan Opera Center productions, he conducted performances of Rossini's Cinderella for the Center.
  3. ^ "Patricia Morehead plays the organizer". Chicago Sun-Times. March 28, 1999. She and her co-conspirators, among them her husband of 35 years, Philip Morehead, who is head of musical staff at Lyric Opera of Chicago, have played for a ...
  4. ^ a b "American classical music: Exploring roots, reflections". University of Chicago. January 8, 1998. Retrieved 2007-08-21. ... Features include two concerts and several discussions with practitioners in the arts, including John Eaton, Professor in Music, who was the recipient of a MacArthur "genius grant"; composer Patricia Morehead, who is co-artistic director of the instrumental group CUBE and a doctoral candidate at the University; and Philip Morehead, head of musical staff for the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists. ... For the concert at 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 18, CUBE contemporary music ensemble will be led by Philip Morehead in a program that compares music by transplanted 20th-century Europeans with music by Americans who were influenced by them.
  5. ^ "Chicago's 'Amistad' Falls Short of Goals". Boston Globe. December 16, 1997. Philip Morehead is head of the musical staff of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and will conduct the last two performances of "Amistad", and Donald Palumbo is ...

External links[edit]

WARNING: some may be works by his father Albert Morehead or parents Albert and Loy Morehead. The son may have updated their reference books.