Keith Lockhart was born in Poughkeepsie, NY, in 1959. He began studying piano at seven and obtained a degree in piano performance from Furman University in 1981. He studied conducting at Carnegie-Mellon University (1981-1983). He had further studies in conducting at the Brevard Music Center and Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute.
From 1990-1995 Lockhart served as associate conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops orchestras. He was appointed music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra in 1992, holding the post until 1999. Lockhart became the music director of the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1995 and soon began making regular appearances with the BPO on PBS television and other media outlets. In 1998 he was appointed music director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, his tenure there ending with the 2008-2009 season. In perhaps his most high-profile television appearance, Lockhart led the Boston Pops in pre-game festivities at Superbowl XXXVI (2002). In the new century Lockhart has delved into opera, first with a performance of Douglas Moore's Ballad of Baby Doe and then with his acclaimed 2004 debut at the Boston Lyric Opera leading Puccini's Tosca.
Lockhart became artistic advisor to the Brevard Music Center in 2006, and in the fall of 2007 he was appointed artistic director and principal conductor there. Lockhart's recordings include the 2007 CD Oscar & Tony, issued on the Boston Pops label.