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Edo de Waart (born 1 June 1941, Amsterdammarker) is a Dutchmarker conductor, and the Music Director of both the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

De Waart studied oboe, piano and conducting at the Sweelinck Conservatory, graduating in 1962. The following year, he was appointed associate principal oboe of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Orchestral conducting

In 1964, at the age of 23, he won the Dimitri Mitropoulos Conducting Competition in New Yorkmarker. As part of his prize, he served for one year as assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic. On his return to the Netherlands, he was appointed assistant conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra under Bernard Haitink.

In 1967, he was appointed conductor of both the Netherlands Wind Ensemble and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and was the latter's music director from 1973 to 1979.

De Waart made his début at the San Francisco Symphony in 1975. A year later, he became principal guest conductor, and from 1977 to 1985 he was its music director. From 1986 to 1995, he was music director of the Minnesota Orchestra.

In 1989, de Waart returned to the Netherlands where he was appointed music director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. He resigned from the post in 2004 and now he is the orchestra's conductor laureate.

De Waart became chief conductor and artistic adviser of the Sydney Symphony in 1995. In early 1999, after two successful terms with the orchestra, including taking it on a very well-received tour of the United States, he announced he would be leaving by the end of the year. The orchestra's management was fully engaged in the process of finding his replacement, when he realised he loved the job so much that he decided to stay on longer. He left the post in 2004. While in Sydney, he made no secret of his dislike of the acoustics of the Sydney Opera Housemarker Concert Hall, the orchestra's home. He said ".. if there is no clear intention to do something to improve the hall, then we really seriously have to look at another venue".

In 2004, de Waart became artistic director and chief conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. In November 2007, de Waart and the Hong Kong Philharmonic agreed on a contract extension of his tenure to 2012.

On 3 January 2008, de Waart was named the sixth music director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and took up the post in September 2009. In March 2008, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra announced that de Waart is scheduled to become an Artistic Partner with the orchestra in the 2010-2011 season.

De Waart has been a guest conductor with the major orchestras throughout the world including the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Opera

De Waart has also been a frequent conductor of opera. De Waart made his first conducting appearance at the Santa Fe Opera (SFO) in 1971, in a production of The Flying Dutchman.

He debuted at the Houston Grand Opera in 1975, the Royal Opera Housemarker, Covent Gardenmarker in 1976, and the Bayreuth Festspielhausmarker in 1979. From 1970, he conducted the DNO frequently. In 1980, he directed a Ring cycle at the San Francisco Opera.

In March 2002, de Waart announced his departure in 2004 as chief conductor of the Netherlands Opera (DNO), a position he filled since 1999. In giving his reason for leaving, de Waart mentioned his desire to spend time with his two small children. However, de Waart also mentioned in an interview with the newspaper Trouw his disagreement with the conceptual staging of Lohengrin by DNO director Pierre Audi and the planned Madame Butterfly of Robert Wilson. De Waart said he missed "humanity" and "emotion in the direction."

In July 2007, the Santa Fe Opera named de Waart their chief conductor, effective 1 October 2007. His initial contract was for 4 years. However, in November 2008, SFO announced that de Waart would vacate the position before the end of his contract, no earlier than the end of the 2009 season. de Waart cited health and family reasons for this decision.

In recent seasons, he has conducted a new production of Der Rosenkavalier for Opéra Bastillemarker, The Magic Flute and Figaro for the Metropolitan Opera and Katya Kabanová, Werther, Peter Grimes, The Makropulos Affair, Madama Butterfly, Fidelio, Les Troyens in Amsterdam. Other recent productions include Boris Godunov for the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Figaro for the Salzburg Festival and Beatrice et Benedict for Santa Fe Opera. In Sydneymarker, he led concert performances of Richard Wagner's Ring cycle, a project which started in 1995 and culminated in performances of Götterdämmerung as part of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Arts Festival. He also conducted opera-in-concert performances of Richard Strauss' Salome and Elektra with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, to critical acclaim.

Repertoire

An avid promoter of contemporary music, de Waart led premieres of works by John Adams, whose opera Nixon in China he has recorded; Steve Reich, whose Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards he has recorded; and others in San Francisco.

Recordings

Edo de Waart's recording catalogue is extensive, encompassing recordings with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony. Mr. de Waart's renditions of the four Brahms symphonies with the Berlin Philharmonic will be released 6 October by EMI.

Personal life

De Waart maintains two residences, an apartment in Hong Kong and a house in Middleton, Wisconsinmarker, which is the hometown of his wife, mezzo-soprano Rebecca Dopp, whom he married in 1999. They have two children, a son and a daughter. Their home is located in Wisconsin to accommodate the asthma of their 4-year old son.

References

External links




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