Edward Gardner - Principal Conductor
'I can't wait to start!'
Edward Gardner begins his tenure as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2021; he is also Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic, a position he has held since October 2015.
During the 2021/22 season Edward will conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in eleven concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, including five UK premieres. He opens the season on 25 September 2021 with a concert performance of Tippett's The Midsummer Marriage, for which the London Philharmonic Choir is joined by the English National Opera Chorus. Other programmes during the season include Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Edward and the LPO will also take part in the Enescu Festival in Bucharest, as well as undertaking an extensive tour of Germany.
'If this is what Gardner and the LPO can achieve together, we have much to look forward to.’The Guardian, October 2019 (Bartók, Walton & Nielsen at the Royal Festival Hall)
Edward opened the Bergen Philharmonic season in September 2021 with a performance of John Adams’s Harmonium. Further highlights include an all-Stravinsky programme and new commissions by Thomas Larcher, Ryan Wigglesworth and Rebecka Ahvenniemi. Following recent tours to Berlin, Munich, Amsterdam and at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival, the orchestra will perform in Barcelona and Paris this season.
In demand as a guest conductor, the previous two seasons saw Edward debut with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Wiener Symphoniker; while returns included engagements with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Montreal Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Philharmonia Orchestra and Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano. He also continued his longstanding collaborations with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, where he was Principal Guest Conductor from 2010–16, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, whom he has conducted at both the First and Last Night of the BBC Proms.
'Gardner was a well-matched accompanist here, creating with the LPO a magic carpet of sound that transported the listener into more exotic territory.’Bachtrack, April 2019 (Debussy, Saint-Saëns and Ravel at the Royal Festival Hall)
Music Director of English National Opera for ten years (2006–15), Edward has an ongoing relationship with New York’s Metropolitan Opera, where he has conducted productions of La damnation de Faust, Carmen, Don Giovanni, Der Rosenkavalier and Werther. In London he has future plans with the Royal Opera House, where he made his debut in 2019 in a new production of Káťa Kabanová and returned for Werther the following season. The 2021/22 season will see Edward make his debut with the Bayerische Staatsoper in a new production of Peter Grimes. Elsewhere, he has conducted at La Scala, Chicago Lyric Opera, Den Norske Opera and Ballet, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Opéra National de Paris.
A passionate supporter of young talent, Edward founded the Hallé Youth Orchestra in 2002 and regularly conducts the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. He has a close relationship with The Juilliard School of Music and with the Royal Academy of Music, who appointed him their inaugural Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Chair in 2014.
Born in Gloucester in 1974, Edward was educated at the University of Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music. He went on to become Assistant Conductor of the Hallé and Music Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera. His many accolades include being named Royal Philharmonic Society Award Conductor of the Year (2008), an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera (2009) and receiving an OBE for Services to Music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours (2012).