Philip Kelsey has been assistant conductor for Seattle Opera since 1990. Prior to that position, he was director of the University of Oregon's opera workshop; chorusmaster/assistant conductor/music coordinator for Portland Opera; assistant professor of music at Reed College (Portland, OR); and music director of The Cantata Singers (Boston, MA). Kelsey has also served assistant conductor, coach, or accompanist at performances of The Washington Opera, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, and Tacoma Opera, and has been on the guest faculty of Cornish College of the Arts (1998) and the University of Washington School of Music (1999, 2000).
He earned a bachelor's degree at Harvard College and a master's in music theory at Harvard University. Kelsey also has studied at the Berkshire Music Center and the Wien Musikhochschule.