Edo de Waart was born in Holland in 1941. He studied oboe, piano and conducting, and joined the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam (presently known as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) in 1963 as an oboe player. After winning the Dimitri Mitropoulos Conducting Competition in New York in 1964, he served as assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic. He then gained experience in conducting under Bernard Haitink at the Concertgebouw Orchestra. In the following years, he was continuously appointed positions of Music Director or Principal Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic (the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra). He is currently Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and he has been named by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra as its Principal Guest Conductor beginning from the 2019/20 season.
In addition to enjoying a successful career as a concert conductor, he has also been making remarkable strides in the operatic field, having served as Chief Conductor of Netherlands Opera and making guest appearances worldwide. He has worked with the NHK Symphony Orchestra frequently since April 2009.
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