Ernest Richardson

Resident Conductor & Principal Pops Conductor

Ernest Richardson is in high demand as conductor, composer, arranger, organizational leader, and inspirational speaker. His versatility finds him within one season conducting Stravinsky's Firebird Suite or Broadway artists in the works of Leonard Bernstein, a live-to-movie production of Harry Potter, facilitating strategic decision-making for leading arts organizations, or training young musicians.

He has been at the forefront of symphonic video/live music productions, conducting live-to-movie scores of Harry Potter with Cine Concerts, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, Singin’ in the Rain, and the Charlie Chaplin silent film The Gold Rush to name a few, and most recently the Star Wars series.

Richardson is the principal pops conductor and resident conductor of the Omaha Symphony. Since 1992, he has laid the groundwork for and led in the development of the Omaha Symphony’s successful Symphony Pops and the vaunted education and community engagement programs. He also holds the position of music director and principal conductor of the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra. Under his leadership the organization has grown from a community orchestra to a resident professional orchestra, attracting the area’s finest musicians. A recipient of the 2016 Nebraska Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Arts Education, Richardson has encouraged and supported countless young musicians as the founding artistic director and CEO of the innovative Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory.

In addition to conducting, Richardson is an accomplished composer and arranger, strategic planning facilitator and occasional violist. He enjoys working with singers and choral ensembles. He has been known to help his sons build award-winning pinewood derby cars and craft his own batons. An avid fly fisherman, he has also earned a black belt in tae kwon do. He lives in Omaha with his wife and children.