Conductor & Musical Director
"Conductor Purcell drew moving and amazingly cohesive results from his forces. Strings were sweet-sounding with clarity and excellent balance maintained in the orchestral texture."
Kevin is one of Australia’s most distinguished conductors & musical directors, having conducted all over the world for the past thirty years.
He is also an award-winning musical theatre composer and an arranger much sought after for his American Songbook orchestrations for the National Symphony Orchestra, New York Pops, Boston Pops and for artists including, Kristin Chenoweth, Ann Hampton Callaway, Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty, and Stephen Schwartz.
A recipient of a scholarship to study conducting at the Moscow Conservatory (1992) and subsequently awarded the Willem van Otterloo Scholarship and Bellhouse Conducting Prize (1993) to study at Opera Australia with ex-Glyndebourne Music Director, Myer Fredman, Kevin then moved to the UK in 1994. Whilst in London, he was mentored by and assisted Sir Charles Mackerras for several years during which time he also received the Australian Music Foundation in London ‘Sir Charles Mackerras Prize’ (1995) and the Tait Memorial Trust Award (1996).
Kevin studied conducting at the prestigious Janácek Academy of Music (JAMU) in the Czech Republic with Dr. Otakar Trhlík and for several years in the USA with distinguished American conducting pedagogue, Harold Farberman at Bard College.
In Europe, Kevin has conducted Ensemble Intercontemporain at the Paris Conservatory, Hradec Králové Filharmonie, Beethoven Chamber Orchestra, Königsgrätz Philharmonic, West Bohemia Symphony Orchestra, Georgian State Television and Radio Orchestra, Dinu Lipatti Philarmonic and the Silesian State Opera to mention only a few.
Kevin was appointed to the position of Principal Conductor of the Australian Discovery Orchestra in June 2015. The orchestra’s purpose is to afford professional-level orchestral musicians; not employed full-time in Australian orchestras, the opportunity to perform together in repertoire both familiar and new and, to showcase the works of the most exciting Australian composers. The ADO is one of the world’s most innovative and exciting orchestral initiatives. Its concerts are streamed in high-definition with each event providing immersive and interactive opportunities for a global audience.
"The concert had a wonderful energy about it, which came from Music Director Kevin Purcell's ... obvious rapport with the musicians"
— Lyman Leathers, Delaware Gazette (OH)
"Purcell conducts the 24-piece orchestra with crystalline clarity, lilting rhythm and passion."
— Michael Grossberg, Columbus Dispatch
"The elegant and stylish conductor was Kevin Purcell. He got to the core of the music."
— Michael Dawney, Evening Echo (UK)
"Kevin Purcell knows all about entertainment."
— Elizabeth Fortescue, Sydney Morning Herald