Edward Gardner: Principal Conductor

Edward Gardner: Our new Principal Conductor

The arrival of a new Principal Conductor is a big moment in the life of any orchestra. And coming out of the year we’ve just had, Edward Gardner’s first season directing the LPO is a landmark in every sense. ‘I’m thrilled to have been appointed Principal Conductor’, he says. ‘I worked with the Orchestra early in my career and I was quite overwhelmed by the brilliance and virtuosity of the musicians.’

Gardner’s first season takes that energy and runs with it. He’s opening with a real statement of intent: Tippett’s opera The Midsummer Marriage is a celebration of hope and renewal – a real starburst of optimism. To make it even more of a celebration, Gardner has invited his old colleagues from across the river at the Coliseum, the Chorus of English National Opera.

That’s just the start of a season filled with old friends and new. Gardner conducts contemporary music from the USA, a tribute to Oliver Knussen, freshly-minted masterpieces from Composer-in- Residence Brett Dean, and collaborations with Bryn Terfel and Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Plus, of course, the landmarks of the symphonic repertoire, from Berlioz to Mahler. ‘I’ve relished the passion and hunger the LPO brings to performance’, says Gardner: things are about to get exciting.

25 Sep 2021 | The Midsummer Marriage

Edward Gardner makes his debut as the LPO’s Principal Conductor with a landmark concert performance of Michael Tippett’s dazzling opera The Midsummer Marriage.

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1 Oct 2021 | Fantastic Symphony

Edward Gardner conducts Berlioz’s roof-raising Symphonie fantastique, alongside Lili Boulanger’s D’un matin de printemps, and Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto, played by the superb Nicolas Altstaedt.

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6 Nov 2021 | In Bluebeard’s Castle

The blazing sunlight of Haydn’s 90th Symphony is followed by Bartók’s dark psychological thriller Bluebeard’s Castle, conducted by Edward Gardner. Two very different musical visions in one unforgettable evening.

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10 Nov 2021 | Landscapes and Lovesongs

A programme of mystery, adventure and romance. Edward Gardner conducts warm-hearted miniatures by Grieg, before Sibelius’s invigorating Second Symphony, and Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Jan Lisiecki.

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9 Mar 2022 | Sheku Kanneh-Mason plays Shostakovich

Sheku Kanneh-Mason plays Shostakovich’s rarely heard masterpiece of a cello concerto, written at the height of the Cold War, alongside works by Judith Weir, Daniel Kidane and Bartók, conducted by Edward Gardner.

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19 Mar 2022 | Bryn Terfel sings Brahms

Bryn Terfel brings a lifetime of incomparable communicative power to Brahms's magnificent late songs, alongside Schoenberg's Pelleas und Melisande and Mendelssohn's ethereal overture, conducted by Edward Gardner.

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2 Apr 2022 | A German Requiem

Music that reaches for the sublime, with Brahms’s German Requiem, featuring soprano Christiane Karg and
baritone Roderick Williams, Messiaen's Le tombeau resplendissant and Lili Boulanger’s Psalm 129.

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27 Apr 2022 | War and Peace

Edward Gardner conducts some of the greatest works to come out of Britain at war: Vaughan Williams’s Fifth Symphony and Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem. Programme includes the UK premiere of LPO Composer-in-Residence Brett Dean’s Cello Concerto, performed by Alban Gerhardt.

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