Edo De Waart
Music Director Laureate
Edo de Waart is music director laureate of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. His tenure as music director (2009-2017) of the MSO included sold-out concerts, critical acclaim, and a celebrated performance at Carnegie Hall. He is also music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Antwerp Symphony and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
During the 2019.20 season, de Waart will return to the MSO for two concert weekends. The first in January 2020 will feature Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2. Then in May, de Waart will lead the orchestra in performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral.”
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, Opera de Bastille, Santa Fe Opera, Salzburg Festival, and The Metropolitan Opera. Recent appearances at The Met have included Der Rosenkavalier and The Marriage of Figaro.
Edo de Waart’s extensive catalogue encompasses releases for Philips, Virgin, EMI, Telarc, and RCA. His most recent recording is Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.
At the age of 23, de Waart won the Dimitri Mitropoulos Conducting Competition in New York which resulted in his appointment as assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic. On his return to Holland, he was appointed assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1967, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra appointed him guest conductor and, six years later, chief conductor and artistic director. Since then, he has also been music director of the San Francisco Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra, chief conductor and artistic director of the Sydney Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic, and chief conductor of De Nederlandse Opera.
Edo de Waart has received a number of awards for his musical achievements, including becoming a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion and an Honorary Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia, in reflection of his invaluable contribution to Australian cultural life during his decade with the Sydney Symphony. He was also appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in recognition of his contribution to music internationally, and in particular, his commitment to developing future generations of musicians in Hong Kong.