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Biography

Edo de Waart is music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Antwerp Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, and Milwaukee Symphony orchestras, having concluded his tenure as music director at the latter in the 2016–17 season. He previously served as music director of the San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and chief conductor of the Dutch National Opera.

In the 2017–18 season Mr. de Waart makes his annual appearance with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, this time leading works by Bernstein and Brahms; returns to the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra for a tour of Germany; leads the San Diego Symphony, opening the season with Jean-Yves Thibaudet and returning twice later in the season; and conducts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. His regular guest conducting appearances include the Chicago, NHK, and Montreal symphony orchestras and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A renowned orchestral trainer, he has a number of projects with young players at The Juilliard School and Colburn School, following his summer visit to the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.

In the realm of opera, Mr. de Waart has conducted at Bayreuth; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Grand Théâtre de Genève; Opéra Bastille; Santa Fe Opera; and The Metropolitan Opera. As music director in Milwaukee, Antwerp, and Hong Kong, he often conducted semi-staged and operas in concert; he continues this mission with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra at Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw.

Edo de Waart’s extensive recording catalog encompasses releases for the Philips, Virgin, EMI, Telarc, and RCA labels. Recent recordings include Henderickx’s Symphony No.1 and Oboe Concerto, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, all with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.

He began his career as an Assistant Conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic, then returned to Holland, where he was appointed assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink at Amsterdam’s 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 being named a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion, an Honorary Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia, and an Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

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