Dutch conductor Edo de Waart was born in Amsterdam on 1 June 1941. He studied oboe, piano and conducting at the Sweelinck Conservatory, then in 1964, aged twenty-three, he won the Dmitri Mitropoulos Conducting Competition, which led to a year as assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, then a job as assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.
A long series of high powered appointments followed. De Waart was music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (1973-79), music director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (1977-85) and music director of the Minnesota Orchestra (1986-95). He was music director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (1989-2004) and has since been the orchestra's conductor laureate. He was chief conductor and artistic adviser of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (1993-2003), chief conductor of Dutch National Opera (1999-2004), artistic director and chief conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (2004-12) and chief conductor of Santa Fe Opera (2007-9).
In 2016 he became music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. In 2019 he became the first ever principal guest conductor of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.
De Waart is strong on contemporary music - particularly by John Adams and Steve Reich - and is the dedicatee of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's second symphony. He has also recorded extensively, with many orchestras and on many labels.
Ensemble. An Outstanding Choice - Ron Bierman is impressed by J S Bach, Barber and Haydn, played by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra led by veteran Dutch conductor Edo de Waart
Ensemble. Visits to the Doctor - Ron Bierman appreciates music by John Adams, Mozart and Rachmaninov from Ingrid Fliter, Edo de Waart and the San Diego Symphony
CD Spotlight. Many Fine Moments - Geoff Pearce listens to Richard Strauss played by the Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble. '... a fine disc of works which are not recorded so often ...'
Ensemble. Highly-Charged - Joyce Yang, Edo de Waart and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, reviewed by Rebecca Schmid
Ensemble. An Amazing Cast - New York Metropolitan Opera's 'Der Rosenkavalier' in HD, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Wonderful Experience - Maria Nockin visits Santa Fe for operas by Verdi, Mozart, Britten and Handel, plus the first American performance of Kaija Saariaho's 'Adriana Mater'
DVD Spotlight. Rigidly Puritanical - 'Madama Butterfly', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... a strong yet tender account of Puccini's cunning score.'
What makes a conductor? - 'Conductors in Conversation' by Jeannine Wagar, reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz