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Meet the Musicians

Swing and Socially Missioned Brews: A Conversation with William Eddins

William Eddins first took the podium to lead the Minnesota Orchestra 30 years ago. It was 1992 and the Buffalo, New York, native and Eastman-trained pianist had just been named assistant conductor of the ensemble; he subsequently moved up to the associate conductor post and spent five seasons with the Orchestra. Since then, Eddins has continued a multifaceted musical career, both in the United States and abroad. He is music director emeritus of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, former principal guest conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Ireland and a frequent guest conductor of major American orchestras, with engagements that include the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, the Philadelphia Orchestra and many more. He has also remained close to the Minnesota Orchestra since his days as associate conductor; with the Twin Cities serving as his home base, he has been a frequent guest conductor and a regular writer and host of the digital concert series This Is Minnesota Orchestra.

Eddins’ zest for life doesn’t stop with music; he is passionate about his family, cycling and J.R.R. Tolkien. His most recent non-musical venture? Starting MetroNOME: a socially missioned brewery in St. Paul, whose goal is to funnel its revenue toward supporting music education in the Twin Cities. When asked why he decided to start a brewing beer, he responded: “Why not beer?” After all, both music and beer bring us together.

It’s with all of this in mind that we stopped by MetroNOME Brewery to chat with Eddins about the opening concerts of the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2022-23 seasonwhich, with three decades since his debut, mark his first time conducting the Orchestra’s classical season opening, an honor that typically goes to the music director. He talked with us about working with two ensembles he knows well, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra, and leading a piece by a composer he’s also quite familiar with: Wynton Marsalis. Don’t miss the swingin’ season opener September 23-24. Until then, you can swing by MetroNOME in Lowertown St. Paul or enjoy one of their brews at Orchestra Hall.

Learn more about MetroNOME, and grab your tickets to the season opener.