A Grammy-Winning Day of Inspiration at the Rotary Club of Louisville

On April 4, 2024, the Rotary Club of Louisville hosted a memorable event featuring Teddy Abrams, Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra, and Graham Parker, Chief Executive of the Orchestra. This gathering was not just any ordinary meeting; it was a celebration of a monumental achievement – the Louisville Orchestra’s first-ever GRAMMY win for “Best Classical Instrumental Solo” in collaboration with the renowned pianist Yuja Wang for their album “The American Project.”

Di Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant and a prominent figure in the Louisville community, attended the event and was deeply inspired by the presentation. The energy and passion of Abrams and Parker were infectious, their voices resonating with emphasis and their bodies animated with the fervor of their message. They spoke of music as a powerful tool for transformation and unity, addressing diversity and inclusion head-on, a challenge and opportunity for Louisville, Kentucky.

“The American Project,” the album that earned them the GRAMMY, was a testament to their innovative approach to classical music. It combined the rich musical heritage of America with the virtuosic talent of Yuja Wang, under the creative guidance of Abrams. This project was a milestone in the Orchestra’s history, showcasing its commitment to artistic excellence and innovation.

During the event, Di Tran was particularly moved by the emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Abrams and Parker didn’t just talk about these concepts; they lived them. Their approach to hiring musicians from around the world, conducting auditions without visual cues to ensure talent is the sole criterion for selection, was a testament to their dedication to fairness and inclusion.

As Di Tran introduced himself as a Vietnamese immigrant, Teddy Abrams immediately connected him with a Vietnamese musician in their team, highlighting their commitment to connecting diverse individuals through music. Di Tran was nearly brought to tears as Abrams spoke about representing Kentucky and the United States by embracing diversity, a powerful reminder of the potential of music to heal, unite, and celebrate the human spirit.

For Di Tran, this event was not just another speaking engagement; it was a transformative experience that reaffirmed the beauty of inclusion and the potential of music to change the world. The Louisville Orchestra’s GRAMMY win was not just a recognition of their musical talent but a celebration of their vision to use music as a bridge between all Kentucky residents, fostering a sense of understanding and community.