Edwin Outwater

Edwin Outwater is Music Director of Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) and Director of Summer Concerts at the San Francisco Symphony. In the 2015-16 season, the KWS’s 70th anniversary season and Mr. Outwater’s ninth as Music Director, the orchestra continues its groundbreaking “Intersections” series celebrating the intimate relationship between music and geometry, collaborating with Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq and premiering Scott Good’s newly commissioned score to silent horror classic The Hands of Orlac. Other KWS highlights include a complete Beethoven concerto cycle with pianist Stewart Goodyear, a world premiere from Owen Pallett, and Die Fledermaus in concert.

As SFS Director of Summer Concerts, Mr. Outwater’s recent highlights include conducting summer performances with Shara Worden, Bryce Dessner, Angélique Kidjo, and SFS Principal Trumpet Mark Inouye, among others. This season he curates and leads concerts in the SFS SoundBox series and conducts Music for Families concerts and subscription performances with pianist Stephen Hough. His extensive guest conducting schedule this season features returns to the Chicago and Tokyo metropolitan symphonies, accounts of Caroline Shaw’s new violin concerto with the Indianapolis and North Carolina symphonies, and a trio of programs with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Mr. Outwater’s conducting may be heard on two recent releases: Expanded, which captures his Barbican Centre debut with These New Puritans, and Sarah Kirkland Snider’s album Unremembered, released on New Amsterdam Records. In 2011 Mr. Outwater directed the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony on its first commercial CD release in more than a decade, From Here On Out, which features the music of Nico Muhly, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, on the Analekta label. 

A regular guest conductor of the Chicago and New World symphonies, Mr. Outwater has also conducted the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; the orchestras of Baltimore, Houston, and Seattle; the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the symphonies of Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Victoria in Canada; and made international appearances with the New Zealand Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, and Hong Kong Sinfonietta, among others. He has served as principal conductor of the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in Molise, Italy.

A native of Santa Monica, California, Mr. Outwater attended Harvard University, graduating cum laude in 1993 with a degree in English literature; he received his master’s degree in conducting from UC Santa Barbara. Mr. He served as Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony from 2001 to 2006 and from 2001 to 2005 he was Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra.

(January 2016)