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The London Philharmonic Orchestra welcomes Edward Gardner as its Principal Conductor from 2021

The London Philharmonic Orchestra announced the appointment of Edward Gardner as its next Principal Conductor, the first British Principal Conductor of the Orchestra since the late 1960s. Gardner will take up his position at the start of the 2021/22 season.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra announced the appointment of Edward Gardner as its next Principal Conductor, the first British Principal Conductor of the Orchestra since the late 1960s. Gardner will take up his position at the start of the 2021/22 season. His initial five-year contract will see him working with the Orchestra for a minimum of 10 weeks per season, including its London season as Resident Orchestra at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, on international tours and with the Orchestra’s many ground-breaking Education & Community programmes.

Currently Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Gardner first conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2003 and has since returned for concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, Snape Maltings and Glyndebourne. Most recently he has conducted the Orchestra both in London and on tour in the United States. During the 2019/20 season Gardner will appear four times in London with the Orchestra and he will also open its 2020/21 season.

Much in demand as a guest-conductor, Gardner’s recent seasons have included performances with the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Wiener Symphoniker and his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where he returns in September to conduct Massenet’s Werther.

Edward Gardner said:

“I’m thrilled to have been appointed Principal Conductor of the LPO. I worked with the Orchestra early in my career and I was quite overwhelmed by the brilliance and virtuosity of the musicians.
Returning to the Orchestra recently I’ve felt a sense of pleasure and privilege working with this inspiring group of musicians and relished the passion and hunger the LPO brings to performance. I’m looking forward to our collaboration with huge anticipation and excitement.”

The London Philharmonic Orchestra has been at the heart of music-making in London, Britain and around the world for nine decades where it has established a reputation for bold, creative and distinctive programming that continues to inspire audiences on a journey of exploration and adventure. In addition to its residencies at London’s Southbank Centre and Glyndebourne, the Orchestra continues its south coast residencies in Brighton and Eastbourne, between which it gives 10 concerts each year, and has recently announced a new four-concert residency at Saffron Walden.

One of the most in-demand international orchestras in the world, the London Philharmonic Orchestra gives around 35 concerts each year overseas. It was the first Western orchestra to visit the Soviet Union (1956) and the first to tour China following the Cultural Revolution (1973). 

Deeply committed to inspiring the next generation of musicians, the Orchestra last season celebrated the 30th anniversary of its Education and Community department, whose work over three decades has introduced many thousands of people of all ages to orchestral music and created opportunities for people of all backgrounds to fulfil their creative potential.

Timothy Walker, Chief Executive & Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra said:

“It’s been fascinating to watch Ed grow into a great musician from his debut with us 16 years ago. During his 10 years at English National Opera and more recently at the Bergen Philharmonic Ed has mastered a huge range of orchestral and vocal repertoire. For him to now return to the UK as our Principal Conductor is exciting for not only the LPO but also for London and the UK’s cultural scene.
Everyone at the Orchestra wishes to thank Vladimir Jurowski for the extraordinary contribution he has made in his more than 10 years as Principal Conductor which has been nothing short of transformational. We greatly look forward to his return visits to us as Conductor Emeritus.”

Victoria Robey OBE, Chairman of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Board of Directors, said:

“At this exciting time in our history, the Board and I are delighted to welcome the immensely talented Ed Gardner to the LPO family where he will continue the excellent work of Maestro Vladimir Jurowski and his predecessors.”

Stewart McIlwham, President of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, said:

“Edward Gardner has been at the forefront of British music-making for many years and I am delighted that he will be leading the LPO in this exciting new chapter of the Orchestra’s history.”

Gillian Moore CBE, Director of Music at Southbank Centre, said: 

"I'm so pleased to welcome Edward Gardner to the Southbank Centre family. While he has been doing great things in Bergen and around the world, Ed has remained a force for good in British music, and his recent performances with the LPO have been stunning. I'm very much looking forward to deepening the relationship and working on exciting plans together." 

Gardner succeeds Vladimir Jurowski who will become Conductor Emeritus at the start of the 2021/22 season a role in which he will continue to conduct the Orchestra for four concerts a season. In over a decade with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jurowski’s creative energy and artistic rigour have been central to the Orchestra’s success.

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