Edo de Waart, Principal Guest Conductor Designate

The San Diego Symphony Orchestra has recently announced that Edo de Waart has been appointed principal guest conductor. The renowned conductor begins his new role – a first for the organization – in the 2019-20 season conducting the orchestra for three to four weeks a year. The initial agreement is for three years. De Waart has been a featured guest conductor with SDSO during the past five seasons.

“I have known Edo de Waart for more than 35 years and have always admired his music making,” said Martha Gilmer, San Diego Symphony CEO. “When he first worked with the San Diego Symphony in January 2015 there was an immediate mutual respect. I have heard from many of the musicians how much they value the work they do together in rehearsals as well as concerts, which is the highest compliment an orchestral musician can pay. Rafael Payare and I came to the mutual conclusion to affirm this relationship with the title of principal guest conductor. I could not be more thrilled that Edo de Waart will be a vital part of the artistic life of the San Diego Symphony.”

“Edo de Waart is without question one of the preeminent conductors of our time. As conductors we often do not find ourselves in the same city at the same time. However, we were both together in San Diego in September, and had the opportunity to spend some time in conversation together. I believe that his relationship with this orchestra will have an important artistic impact, and I am very happy that he is committed to working with the orchestra every year to enhance and sustain their artistic achievement,” said music director designate Rafael Payare.

“It is a privilege to accept this position with San Diego, and such an exciting time to be collaborating with the leadership and artistic team, as well as Rafael Payare. Throughout the past few years conducting the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, I’ve gotten to know some of the wonderful musicians and I love their energy and focus and look forward to working together with Rafael Payare to take the orchestra to the next level,” said de Waart.

In addition to his role with SDSO, de Waart serves as music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, holds the positions of conductor laureate of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He was previously music director of the San Francisco Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and chief conductor of De Nederlandse Opera. As 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 returns to the San Diego Symphony on March 1 and 2, 2019 for a Jacobs Masterworks concert, De Waart Conducts Mahler 4.


More about Edo de Waart:

Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Edo de Waart also holds the positions of Conductor Laureate of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his existing posts, he was previously Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and Chief Conductor of De Nederlandse Opera.

The 2018-19 season will see Mr. de Waart conduct his former orchestras, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and Hong Kong and Rotterdam philharmonic orchestras, and make his annual appearance with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. He will conduct San Diego Symphony Orchestra’s opening two weeks where he will be joined by Lang Lang for a gala performance, and return later in the season with Joélle Harvey. He will also conduct the Houston and Kansas City symphony orchestras as well as return to NHK Symphony Orchestra. Other guest conducting appearances this season include Finnish Radio and Iceland symphony orchestras and Hangzhou Philharmonic, as part of a season long Mahler cycle.

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. As Music Director in Milwaukee, Antwerp and Hong Kong, in an attempt bring the operatic canon to broader audiences where stage limitations prevent performances, he has often conducted semi-staged and operas in concert performances. He continues this mission in 2018-19 with both Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (The Flying Dutchman) and Antwerp Symphony Orchestra (Die Walküre).

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.

Mr. de Waart’s extensive catalogue encompasses releases for Philips, Virgin, EMI, Telarc and RCA. Recent recordings include Henderickx Symphony No.1 and Oboe Concerto, Mahler’s Symphony No.1 and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, both with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.

Beginning his career as an Assistant Conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic, Mr. 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.