The Kennedy Center

Edo de Waart


Edo de Waart is Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Conductor Laureate of the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland. From the 2010/11 season he becomes an Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Recent and future guest conducting highlights include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington in the US; as well as the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Het Residentie Orkest in Europe. In April 2009 he spent three very successful weeks in Japan with the NHK Symphony Orchestra.

As an opera conductor, Edo de Waart has enjoyed success in a large and varied repertoire in many of the great houses of the world. Semi-staged and concert opera performances in the 2009/10 season include Bluebeard's Castle with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Pelléas et Mélisande at the Concertgebouw Zaterdag Matinee series, and A Rake’s Progress with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has also conducted Der Fliegende Hollander with Nikikai Opera, Boris Godunov for Geneva Opera, Der Rosenkavalier for Opera de Bastille and Die Zauberflöte and Le nozze di Figaro for the Metropolitan Opera, New York. A production of Billy Budd for Santa Fe Opera was one of last season’s highlights.

Edo de Waart’s extensive catalogue encompasses releases for Philips, Virgin, EMI, Telarc and RCA. With the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland he has recorded all the orchestral works of Rachmaninov, as well as the overtures of Wagner in Super Audio for the Japanese label Octavia/Exton.

Born in Holland, he studied oboe, piano and conducting at the Music Lyceum in Amsterdam and upon graduating took up the position of Associate Principal Oboe of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Two years later, at the age of 23, he won the Dimitri Mitropoulos Conducting Competition in New York which resulted in his appointment for the 1964/65 season as Assistant Conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. On his return to Holland he was appointed Assistant Conductor to Bernard Haitink at the Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1967 the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra appointed him permanent Guest Conductor and six years later Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. Since then, Edo de Waart has also been Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony and Minnesota Orchestras, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and Chief Conductor of De Nederlandse Opera.

In December 2004, he was made a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion, and in 2005 he was appointed 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 Orchestra.

edo de Waart