Kevin Purcell is one of Australia’s most distinguished and awarded orchestral and opera conductors. Currently, Kevin serves as Principal Conductor for the Australian Discovery Orchestra whilst maintaining an active freelance career as a musical director for theatre in the USA and UK.
He originally studied conducting at the Moscow Conservatory with Gennady Rozhdestvensky with subsequent graduate conducting studies at the Janáček Academy of Music (JAMU, CZ) with Otakar Trhlík, culminating in a Masters degree in orchestral conducting at Bard College (New York) under the late Harold Farberman. Additionally, Kevin studied Opera conducting with British conductor and Glyndebourne music director, Myer Fredman and Carlo Montanaro.
Awards include: GOI-IES Scholarship (2021); Australian Music Foundation in London Sir Charles Mackerras Prize (1994 & 1995); Tait Memorial Trust Award (1996); Opera Australia Willem van Otterloo Scholarship (1993) and in the same year, the Bellhouse Conducting Prize.
Kevin has previously been the musical director of the original production of CATS at the New London Theatre (1995-96) and for the South Korean Premiere production (2003). More recently Kevin has conducted WICKED at London’s Apollo Victoria theatre and was the originating musical director for the first national UK/Eire tour (2013).
Kevin is much sought after for his American Songbook orchestrations. His arrangements have been performed by leading orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, New York City Opera, New York Pops, Boston Pops and by artists including, Marvin Hamlisch, Stephen Schwartz, Kristin Chenoweth, Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway, Michael McCorry Rose, Raúl Esparza, Victor Garber, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, and numerous other A-list Broadway artists.
His long-time collaboration with Victor Kazan (Book & Lyrics) has culminated in three musicals to date: Rebecca (2004), The Stranger From Seville (2013 New York Music Theatre Festival Grand Jury Selection; 2018 2nd. Florida Festival of New Musicals) and Castle Gillian (2022).