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By Gabriel Escalera

Maestro Richardson And His Orchestration With The Omaha Symphony

November 22nd, 2023

Ernest Richardson, acclaimed as the Resident Conductor and Principal Pops Conductor of the Omaha Symphony, has established himself as a beloved figure within Omaha’s musical landscape. Little did he anticipate that what began as a chapter in the early ’90s would extend into a distinguished three-decade tenure.

“I thought I’d be here for three or four years, and I’m now into my 30th year,” Richardson reflects, highlighting the unexpected trajectory of his Omaha journey.

Hailing from Baltimore, Richardson’s musical roots run deep, shaped by a heritage steeped in musicality. “My father is a violinist and conductor also,” he shares. “I was under his training for years, and of course, I went to school in the Midwest at Indiana University and the University of Michigan State.”

During intense competition with over 300 applicants, the Omaha Symphony recognized Richardson’s talent and potential, offering him the role that would anchor his musical legacy.

Reflecting on the orchestra’s growth, Richardson acknowledges the symbiotic relationship between his efforts and the resources provided by the Omaha Symphony, catalyzing the orchestra’s burgeoning national recognition. “The Omaha Symphony was already commendable upon my arrival,” he notes, emphasizing the continuous evolution that has ensued over the years with measured adjustments.

Technology’s footprint in concerts was modest during Richardson’s earlier career days. However, a trend amplifying orchestra performances involves seamlessly synchronizing movie projections with the symphony’s live renditions, marking an innovative stride in musical presentations.

But beyond the musical domain, Richardson’s bond with Omaha deepened, propelled by an unspoken affinity that transcended expectations. “Over time, I only fell in love with the community because I never found a reason not to do so,” he fondly expresses.

As Ernest Richardson’s symphonic journey continues to weave through Omaha’s cultural tapestry, his legacy resonates not only through the melodies he conducts but also through the enduring connection he shares with the heart of the city.