The Kennedy Center

David Robertson



Biography

Recognized internationally as one of the leading conductors of his generation, David Robertson continues to impress audiences and critics around the world with his interpretations of the standard orchestral repertoire, his exceptional affinity for 20th-century music and his command of a broad operatic repertoire. Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon and Artistic Director of that city’s auditorium since 2000, his appointment marked the first time that one artist held both musical posts in Lyon. He will conclude his tenure there at the end of the 2003-04 season.

Mr. Robertson appears regularly with the major orchestras of North America, and during the 2003-04 season will return to both the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony, leading two weeks with each orchestra. In addition, he will lead the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the National Symphony and the Seattle Symphony, and will also take part in the inaugural season at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Auditorium. Internationally, Mr. Robertson will lead the RAI Orchestra of Torino and the La Scala Philharmonic, among others; recent engagements have included a successful debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and re-engagements with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony, to name just several.

American born, Mr. Robertson has conducted extensively in Europe, having led the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, the Halle Orchestra, the Bayerisches Staatsorchester in Munich, the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, the Berlin Staatskapelle, the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, and in Japan, the NHK Symphony. In North America his appearances in recent seasons include the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Houston Symphony and the New World Symphony. Possessing a wide-ranging operatic repertoire of more than 35 works, he has appeared at a number of prestigious opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Théatre du Châtelet, the Hamburg Opera, the Opéra de Lyon and the San Francisco Opera.

Born in Santa Monica, California, Mr. Robertson was educated at London’s Royal Academy of Music, where he studied French horn, composition and conducting. From 1985-87 he was resident conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, gaining experience in a wide variety of repertoire, including many contemporary works. From 1992-2000 he served as Music Director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris, founded by Pierre Boulez. In 1997 Mr. Robertson was named a recipient of the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award, the premier prize of its kind, given to exceptionally gifted American conductors. In December 1999 Musical America named him Conductor of the Year.

An important aspect of David Robertson’s career has been his close connection to student musicians. In addition to leading a number of outreach programs with the Ensemble Intercontemporain and the Orchestre National de Lyon, he has worked with students at the Paris Conservatory, the Juilliard School, the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival, where he appears annually.

September 2003
Image of David Robertson