Edwin Outwater is a truly visionary conductor. Regularly working with orchestras and institutions throughout the world, he produces, curates, and conducts unique concert experiences. He is equally adept at interpreting canonical works, and regularly premieres new commissions and connects audiences with repertoire beyond the mainstream. He is, in the words of Michael Tilson Thomas, “one of the most innovative conductors on the scene today.”
This season sees Mr. Outwater make regular returns to the San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony, and Virginia Symphony as well as Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony where he currently holds the position of Music Director Laureate.
Recent guest performance highlights for him include New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia orchestra as well as the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Houston, and Seattle. In Canada, he has led the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the symphonies of Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Victoria. International appearances include the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, Kyoto Symphony, Nagoya Philharmonic, BBCNOW, the Brussels Philharmonic, the New Zealand Symphony, Adelaide Symphony, Malmö Symphony, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Mexico City Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, and Hong Kong Sinfonietta. A prolific opera conductor, Edwin Outwater also regularly works with Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Edwin Outwater holds a long association with the San Francisco Symphony. The 2019-2020 season began with a hugely successful collaboration between the orchestra, Mr. Outwater and legendary metal band Metallica to celebrate the opening of the new Chase Center arena. He also regularly conducts and curates their SoundBox series, has conducted and hosted “Holiday Gaiety”, an LGBTQ holiday concert he created with drag performer Peaches Christ for the past three seasons, was the Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, conducting them on a number of occasions including a high profile European tour, and also served as served San Francisco Symphony Director of Summer Concerts.
Edwin Outwater’s recent curations include “Sound Health,” a collaboration with soprano Renée Fleming, The Kennedy Center, and the National Institutes of Health, as well as a jazz version of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, with Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony. He also appeared with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall in a concert for families featuring a world premiere of composer Caroline Shaw, narrated by actor John Lithgow.
A native of Santa Monica, California, Edwin Outwater graduated cum laude in English literature from Harvard University, where he was music director of the Bach Society Orchestra and the a cappella group Harvard Din and Tonics, and wrote the music for the 145th annual production of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. Mr. Outwater received his degree in conducting from UC Santa Barbara, where he studied with Heiichiro Ohyama and Paul Polivnick, besides studying music theory and composition with John Stewart, Joel Feigin, and Leonard Stein.