Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic since October 2015, Edward Gardner has led the orchestra on multiple international tours, including acclaimed performances in London, Berlin, Munich, and Amsterdam. Their semi-staged Peter Grimes at the 2017 Edinburgh International Festival received much acclaim.
Born in Gloucester in 1974, he was educated at Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music. After graduating he assisted Mark Elder at The Hallé, going on to spend three years as music director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera. He has since conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, National Symphony, NHK Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and Filarmonica della Scala.
In demand as a guest conductor, the 2017-18 season sees Mr. Gardner debut with the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and return to the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. He continues his longstanding collaborations with the Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (where he was principal guest conductor from 2010 to 2016), and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (whom he has conducted at both the first and last night of the BBC Proms).
Music director of English National Opera for ten years (2006-15), Mr. Gardner continues to work with many of the world’s major opera companies. He has ongoing relationships with La Scala and Opéra National de Paris, and with New York’s Metropolitan Opera where he has conducted productions of Carmen, Don Giovanni, Der Rosenkavalier, and Werther. Future plans include a return to Dutch National Opera and his Royal Opera House Covent Garden debut.
A passionate supporter of young talent, Mr. Gardner founded the Hallé Youth Orchestra in 2002 and regularly conducts the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Barbican Youth Orchestras. He has a close relationship with the Juilliard School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music who appointed him their inaugural Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Chair in 2014.
An exclusive Chandos recording artist, Mr. Gardner’s discography includes music by Janáček, Elgar, Mendelssohn, Walton, Lutosławski, Britten, Berio, and Schoenberg. His recent recording of Sibelius orchestral songs with the Bergen Philharmonic was shortlisted for a 2017 Gramophone Award.
His many accolades include being named Royal Philharmonic Society Award Conductor of the Year (2008), an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera (2009), and receiving an OBE for Services to Music in the Queen’s Birthday Honors (2012). These performances mark his San Francisco Symphony debut.