Keith Lockhart Doesn’t Dye His Hair

The Boston Pops director shares his pre-concert routine essentials for us—and sets one coiffure rumor straight: "I don’t color."

Photo by Marco Borggreve

You may not think it, but conducting a concert is akin to an athletic undertaking, and for Boston Pops director Keith Lockhart, the spring season, which takes place this year from May 12 to June 10, is the Wimbledon of music events. Just like a professional athlete, all conductors have their own pre-concert routine, and Lockhart’s is one we wanted to know about. Here’s how he preps for the big night.

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1. The Tux

“Unlike most people, I need a tuxedo that doubles as workout clothing. My favorite tuxedos ever are from Giorgio Armani on Newbury Street.”

Slim-fit wool tuxedo, $3,695, Giorgio Armani.



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2. The Music

“No one believes me when I tell them this, but I rarely listen to music for fun at home, and never right before a concert. I listen to music for work all the time, both through speakers and in my head, which is always (maybe too) full of music.”

KEF “Q150” bookshelf speakers, $600, Q Audio.

3. The Pre-Concert Meal

“When you are out five nights a week, sometimes it just feels better to cook at home. My wife, Emiley, and I love seafood…and it’s also great brain food. Working to get the best performance from 75-plus musicians on stage, each with thousands of notes and hundreds of lines of music takes a lot of concentration.”

Jumbo lump crab meat, $60 per pound, Captain Marden’s Seafoods.

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4. The Brew

“On the day of a concert, a one-to-two-hour nap in the afternoon is a requirement—I have to be as awake at 10 p.m. as most people have to be at 10 a.m. Then I need a lot of coffee to wake up. My favorite roast ever is “Good Karma” from Nirvana Coffee Company in Barnstable Village.”

$12 for a 12 oz. bag, Nirvana Coffee Company.

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5. The Hair

“People seem to fixate on conductors’ hair, so it’s pretty important. Michael Roffi of Roffi Salon and Day Spa on Newbury Street has done mine for the past 20-plus years. Oh, and one more thing…I don’t color. Never have. Never will. But there are vicious rumors out there.”

Aquage transforming paste, $28 , Roffi Salon and Day Spa.

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6. The After-Party

“Most of my eating (and drinking) on concert days takes place after the concert is over. I’ll go out with friends, or the soloists, or Emiley, and celebrate a great evening of music. I love the menu at Bin 26 Enoteca on Charles Street in Beacon Hill. Not too late, though—chances are I have another concert the following day.”

2019 Cavallotto Langhe Freisa, $75 per bottle, Bin 26 Enoteca.

First published in the print edition of the May 2023 issue with the headline “Keith Lockhart’s Night at the Pops.”