Music Director: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Conductor Laureate: Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Conductor Laureate: Antwerp Symphony Orchestra Conductor Laureate: Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Principal Guest Conductor (from 2019/20): San Diego Symphony Orchestra
Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Edo de Waart also holds the positions of Conductor Laureate of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director Laureate of Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to his existing posts, he was previously Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and Chief Conductor of De Nederlandse Opera.
As part of the Beethoven 250th birthday celebrations, de Waart will conduct all the composer’s symphonies with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and several Beethoven programmes with the San Diego Symphony, with whom he will be joined by soloists Emmanuel Ax and Leila Josefowicz. He will make his annual appearance with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and return to Chicago, Dallas and Indianapolis Symphony orchestras. Other guest conducting highlights this season include New Japan Philharmonic, KBS Symphony and Hangzhou Philharmonic.
As an opera conductor, de Waart has enjoyed success in a large and varied repertoire in many of the world’s greatest opera houses. He has conducted at Bayreuth, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opéra Bastille, Santa Fe Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera. With the aim of bringing opera to broader audiences where concert halls prevent full staging, he has, as Music Director in Milwaukee, Antwerp and Hong Kong, often conducted semi-staged and opera in concert performances.
A renowned orchestral trainer, he has been involved with projects working with talented young players at the Juilliard and Colburn schools, and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.
De Waart’s extensive catalogue encompasses releases for Philips, Virgin, EMI, Telarc and RCA. Recent recordings include Henderickx’s Symphony No.1 and Oboe Concerto, Mahler’s Symphony No.1 and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, all with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.
Beginning his career as an Assistant Conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic, de Waart then returned to Holland where he was appointed Assistant Conductor to Bernard Haitink at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1973 he was appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
Edo de Waart has received a number of awards for his musical achievements, including becoming a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion and an Honorary Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
“Mr. de Waart and the players rose thrillingly to the end of the finale, one of Brahms’s rare rollicking moments”
(James R. Oestreich, New York Times, December 17)
“…conductor de Waart executed some fancy brainwork of his own, evoking the spirit of Mahler in one of the most authentic and satisfying performances of the composer’s Symphony No.1 this listener has heard in some time.”
(Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer Cleveland, August 2015)
“Shaham and De Waart made the most of [Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1], prompting an unusually long and vocal ovation for the performers.”
(Timothy Robson, ClevelandClassical.com, August 2015)
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