Christmas Pops conductor, out of GFS, gets new post

And now it’s official: David Charles Abell, who’s around here a lot and grew up in Mount Airy, has been tapped as principal guest conductor of the Philly Pops.

“Given his Philly roots, enthusiastic local following, impressive resumé, and programming talent, we’re thrilled to have David in a formal role,” said Frank Giordano, Pops president and chief executive. “David will be the perfect complement to the excellent and creative work done by music director Michael Krajewski.”

Abell made his Pops debut in 2013. He has conducted three Christmas concert series, about 30 programs in all, and led last season’s Blockbuster Broadway concert series.

He is currently conducting the orchestra for Opera Philadelphia’s production of The Magic Flute.

His next turn with the Pops will be this season’s Lenny’s Revolution: A Centennial Bernstein Celebration concert series, which opens Feb. 2. Abell, a Bernstein protégé,  made his professional conducting debut in Berlin with Bernstein’s Mass, having  sung in the original Kennedy Center premiere of that work as a member of the Berkshire Boys Choir.

Abell, who lives in London, attended Yale University and studied at the Conservatoire Américain in France and the Juilliard School.

Before all that, he attended Germantown Friends School.