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Edo de Waart


In the 2019-20 Season Edo de Waart began his new role as Principal Guest Conductor of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, with whom he had been a featured guest conductor for the previous five seasons. He concluded his tenure as Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the end of their 2019 season and took up the role of Conductor Laureate; 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 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.