The Pittsburgh Symphony’s Holiday Pops concert most often creates a sense of warmth and familiarity. But the latest edition at Heinz Hall this past weekend showed a whole other side of the year-end season, built on a series of great arrangements and brought to life by the dry wit and sophistication of conductor Todd Ellison.He’s the closest thing to Marvin Hamlisch that the PSO has discovered. Blessed with a sly comedic pace, Mr. Ellison developed a personal relationship with “Phyllis” in the front row on Saturday night, then filled in with nimble piano accompaniments on occasion and created his own song with Brendan Cull, “A Place For You,” for the long, tall and very funny Santa, Christopher Sanders. Conductor Todd Ellison brought it all together. Sure of beat and clear with dynamics, he showed an easy-going control with the orchestra musicians...
Charming and self-effacing, Ellison regaled the audience with tales of his childhood in Connecticut and his journey to an internationally acclaimed career as a musical director and conductor whose work includes such Broadway productions as the Annie revival, La Cage aux Folles, Spamalot,and An American In Paris. Ellison’s between-song patter was just right, establishing a warm connection with his audience.In addition to being a top-notch conductor, pianist, and musical director, Ellison knows how to craft a show that envelops the audience and delivers an emotional punch.
It’s easy to see why Todd Ellison is “hailed by the New York Times as one of Broadway’s electric conductors” - one of the most accomplished and sought after music directors working today. He is charming, energetic, and witty and knows how to connect with the audience...Ellison was in rare form... His legendary stature was only dwarfed by the amazing 25-foot tree in the Grand Lobby! He is charming, energetic, and witty and knows how to connect with the audience.
There’s no coal in the musical Christmas stocking that conductor Todd Ellison assembled for the Highmark Holiday Pops on Thursday night. Ellison was a pleasantly low-ket host who let the music carry the show at Heinz Hall, Downtown.
On Saturday May 30th, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presented a show called “Broadway Spectacular” in which conductor Todd Ellison led a program of some of his favorite Broadway numbers, most of which were from shows he’s worked in or showcased the best work of his guest performers: Beth Leavel, Christopher Sieber and Kathryn Guthrie. The night opened with an electrifying rendition of the overture from Gypsy, which saw the NJSO in top form.
The State Theatre in New Brunswick rang with song and laughter on May 31 when the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO), under the baton of renowned guest conductor Todd Ellison, wowed the crowd of Broadway lovers of all ages with a feast of musical numbers. Ellison has a gift for making the right combinations of soloists and music and his friends of long standing and a new protégé made for a scintillating afternoon.
Todd Ellison ensures Gershwin’s score gets full, lustrous value from both the large pit orchestra and the performers. Vocally and musically, An American In Paris is all it needs to be – and more.