Known as an extremely versatile musician, Karl Middleman is familiar to classical music audiences as a lecturer, teacher and conductor of many orchestras and choirs. The Süddeutsche Zeitung in Munich acclaimed Karl Middleman’s conducting as “resolute and impressive.” “Energetic, vivid, and hugely satisfying,” praised the Turkish Times.

A career educator, he teaches at Temple University and Cabrini College and has also has served on the faculties of Arcadia University, Philadelphia and Montgomery County Community Colleges. He has lectured for the Philadelpghia Orchestra over 50 times, and has presented public lectures on well over 300 different topics. Recently he served as Arts Advocate and Trainer for the ‘Classroom Arts Project’ of Partners in Distance Learning, as well as Scholar in Residence for the South Jersey and Philadelphia Jewish Community Centers. Currently he is a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. He is a regular workshop leader for Pendle Hill Learning Center.


A native of Philadelphia, Karl began conducting at age 16 and won the ‘Salute to Youth Award’ for forming an integrated orchestra of college and high school students to present three years of summer concerts in Philadelphia parks. He continues to advance the cause of music as a force for human equality in his classroom teaching, his public lectures and in his ‘Gateways to Global Music’ concert series.

He completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music Theory and Music Composition at Temple University. In 1993 Middleman initiated a series of legendary concerts with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony mixing scholarship with showmanship. Karl’s thematic concerts with that ensemble are noted for their spirited intellectual inquiry and for the bold, revelatory ways they reframe listeners’ experience of classical music. He is a recipient of many awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew center for Arts and Heritage and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. His artistry has been cited in 19th Century Music and Philadelphia Magazine, from which his work with the Classical Symphony was twice awarded ‘Best in Philly’. Collaborating artists have included Metropolitan Opera stars, Tchaikovsky Competition winners and numerous world-leading soloists.


A champion of new music, he has premiered the works of 60 composers. in the past five years. His recent new music projects include ‘Philadelphia Concerto Commissions’, ‘Gateways to Global Music’, and ‘Reawakenings of American Indian Music’. Karl is the composer of over 25 works.