Edwin Outwater

Edwin Outwater is Artistic Director of the Eastern Sierra Symphony, a music festival in Mammoth Lakes, California, Artistic Director of The Line-Up in Chicago, and Music Director Laureate of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) in Ontario, Canada.

Mr. Outwater’s recent projects include Sound Health, a collaboration with soprano Renée Fleming, the Kennedy Center, and the National Institutes of Health; and a jazz version of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, with Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony. This season he appears with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall in a concert for families featuring a world premiere work by composer Caroline Shaw, narrated by actor John Lithgow. He also introduces Chicago to The Line-Up, an outdoor concert series of which he is creator and curator at The Park at Wrigley. This new endeavor combines multi-genre music performances with the technology and capabilities of professional sports.

Mr. Outwater’s long association with the San Francisco Symphony continues this season with multiple concerts and collaborations with artists such as Seth MacFarlane, and author Armistead Maupin, among others. Mr. Outwater previously served as San Francisco Symphony director of summer concerts from 2014 to 2017, resident conductor from 2001 to 2006, and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2001 to 2005. He premiered and recorded The Composer is Dead by Nathaniel Stookey and Lemony Snicket, which was subsequently released by HarperCollins, and in 2008, released a recording with the SFS of music by Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate.  

As Music Director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony from 2007 to 2017, Mr. Outwater led world premieres from composers such as Nicole Lizée and Owen Pallett. His Intersections series connected orchestral music to other disciplines, including quantum physics, neuroscience, literature, film, food, and yoga. With the KWS, Mr. Outwater also recorded From Here On Out, featuring music by Nico Muhly, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, on the Analekta label.

Mr. Outwater’s guest conducting schedule this season includes debuts with the Nagoya Philharmonic, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Japan’s Pacific Music Festival, as well as return engagements with the Chicago, National, Indianapolis, and Colorado symphonies. His commitment to music education continues with returns to the New World Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago with Yo-Yo Ma, and a residency at the San Francisco Conservatory. He is also featured on two recent recordings: Expanded, with These New Puritans, and Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Unremembered.

A native of Santa Monica, California, Edwin Outwater graduated cum laude in English literature from Harvard University, and he received his master’s in conducting from UC Santa Barbara.

(November 2017)