Edward Gardner

Recognised as one of the most talented conductors of his generation, Edward Gardner assumed his new position as Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2015 leading their 250th anniversary gala concert. He became their Principal Guest Conductor in August 2013 and has many interesting projects planned including recordings with Chandos Records and international touring.

His first season includes a symphonic marathon in conjunction with the Bergen Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, several new commissions and Schoenberg’s masterpiece Gurrelieder, broadcast on their Digital Concert Hall.

Edward was Music Director of English National Opera for eight years until July 2015 and under his direction ENO presented a series of stellar productions, including Peter Grimes, Benvenuto Cellini, Meistersinger and Otello. He will return in spring 2016 to conduct a new production of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. In recognition of his talent he was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2008 for Best Conductor and in 2009, the Olivier award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. 

Edward continues to be in great demand on the international opera scene. He has an ongoing relationship with the Metropolitan Opera New York where he has conducted Carmen, Don Giovanni and Rosenkavalier; and makes his debut with Chicago Lyric Opera this spring. This season he also returns to La Scala, Milan following Britten’s Death in Venice in 2011. Future appearances include a return to Opéra National de Paris and his debut at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He was appointed Music Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 2004, a position he held for three years and in 2008 returned to conduct Britten’s Turn of the Screw.

Internationally, the 2015/16 season and beyond will see Edward making his debut with Frankfurt Radio, Orchestre National de France and Leipzig Gewandhaus as well as continuing to work with some of the world’s major orchestras including the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Filarmonica della Scala, Czech Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Orchestra and Danish National Symphony. During recent seasons Edward has also worked with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, NHK Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Boston Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Houston Symphony and Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Edward has been Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since 2011. Highlights with the CBSO have included the UK premiere of Weltehos by Jonathan Harvey to mark the opening of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Britten’s Spring Symphony in Birmingham and War Requiem in St Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate Britten’s centenary year. He recently completed a Mendelssohn cycle with the CBSO for Chandos. 

Edward enjoys a flourishing relationship with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Proms and in 2011 conducted the Last Night of the Proms, which was televised live to audiences worldwide, followed by the First Night of the Proms in 2012. His other ongoing relationships in the UK include the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Edward also works regularly with young musicians including the CBSO and Barbican Youth Orchestras, the National Youth Orchestra and Juilliard School of Music in New York. In 2002 he founded the Hallé Youth Orchestra and in September 2014 was appointed to the new role of ‘Mackerras Chair of Conducting’ at the Royal Academy of Music.

An exclusive recording artist for Chandos, Edward has most recently released critically acclaimed discs of Janáček, Mendelssohn, Walton, Lutoslawski, Britten, Berio vocal and orchestral works and Verdi’s Macbeth with ENO. He has also made a number of recordings for EMI Records; Alison Balsom/Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra; Kate Royal/the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Kate Royal/English National Opera Orchestra.

Born in Gloucester in 1974, Edward was educated at Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music where he studied under the instruction of Colin Metters. He graduated in 2000 and went on to assist Mark Elder at The Hallé Orchestra for three years. In June 2012 Edward was awarded an OBE for his Services to Music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.