News from around the world

Edo de Waart

The Dutch conductor retires at eighty-two


Dutch conductor Edo de Waart, aged eighty-two, was in The Netherlands earlier this week to announce his retirement from conducting, due to ill health. The occasion, on Tuesday 9 April 2024, was marked by a celebration in Hilversum with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. De Waart is Conductor Laureate with the orchestra, and was its principal conductor between 1989 and 2004. As part of his speech he said:

I had the best time of my life here: this is an orchestra where people treat each other kindly, without misunderstandings.

He began working as an oboist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. After winning the Dimitri Mitropoulos Conducting Competition, he spent a year as Leonard Bernstein's assistant with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, then he was assistant to Bernard Haitink with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

From 1967 he led the Netherlands Wind Ensemble and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. His six decade career has included many posts, including music directorships with several high profile organisations: the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Dutch National Opera, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Sante Fe Opera and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He is also known for his promotion of contemporary music. He recorded John Adams' opera Nixon in China and Steve Reich's Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards. Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's second symphony is dedicated to De Waart.

Edo de Waart. Photo © Jesse Willems
Edo de Waart. Photo © Jesse Willems

Posted 12 April 2024 by Keith Bramich



 << Home              More news >>