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Conductor Edwin Outwater Named San Francisco Symphony's Director of Summer Concerts; will lead the Orchestra in 10 summer performances

April 28, 2014

Public Relations
San Francisco Symphony
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SAN FRANCISCO, April 28 – Conductor Edwin Outwater has been named the San Francisco Symphony’s Director of Summer Concerts. This newly created position encompasses Outwater’s creative leadership of the San Francisco Symphony’s annual Summer and the Symphony concerts for two years. This season he brings a unique twist on quintessential repertoire and increased audience engagement to the summer classical concerts, conducting ten performances in total. In the 2014-15 season Outwater curates the SFS’s four Music for Families concerts and he leads the Orchestra at the SF Symphony’s elegant New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball concert featuring soprano Measha Brueggergosman. In March of 2015 Outwater collaborates with Bay Area composer Nathaniel Stookey to curate and perform two events in the Symphony’s new alternative performance space, SoundBox.  

Says San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, “I am happy to welcome back Edwin Outwater into an official role with the San Francisco Symphony. He is one of the most innovative conductors on the scene today. The musicians of our orchestra always enjoy working with Edwin and I look forward to a new level of creativity in our summer programming.”

Says Outwater of his new role, "I am so honored to further my activities with the San Francisco Symphony in this new creative role. I hope that my conducting and programming here will add to the inspiring and visionary work that MTT and the orchestra have produced over the years.  I'm excited to be a part of this incredible team."

Edwin Outwater is currently in his seventh season as Music Director of Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and regularly conducts the Chicago and New World Symphonies. He has been a colleague of the SFS for over a decade. He held the position of SFS Resident Conductor from 2001-2006 and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2001-2005. In July 2006, Outwater conducted the San Francisco Symphony’s world premiere performance and recording of The Composer is Dead by Nathaniel Stookey and Lemony Snicket, which was later released as a book and recording by HarperCollins.


Edwin Outwater leads San Francisco Symphony Summer and the Symphony concerts this season beginning on July 5 with an exploration of the fusion of jazz and orchestral music with works by Bernstein, Gershwin, and Ravel, featuring jazz pianist Makoto Ozone. On August 1, Outwater and the Orchestra perform an all-Beethoven concert featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and the Triple Concerto with Outwater introducing frequent collaborator the Gryphon Trio to the Orchestra. Outwater leads two free SFS concerts, one at the Stern Grove Festival on July 6, and the other in Civic Center Plaza with violinist Benjamin Beilman on July 27. On July 26 the San Francisco Symphony returns to the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University with Outwater for an all-Tchaikovsky performance featuring pianist Simon Trpčeski, who last appeared with the SFS and Outwater in October 2013. On the Fourth of July in Mountain View, Outwater leads the San Francisco Symphony in its annual Shoreline Amphitheatre Independence Day concert followed by a fireworks extravaganza. He is also working with Broadway and television star Cheyenne Jackson on a new orchestral program of music and songs from classic films entitled “Hello Gorgeous!” at Davies Symphony Hall on July 24-25, and he conducts the performances of Pink Martini with the orchestra on July 2-3.

In 2014-15 Outwater curates all four Music For Families concerts (conducting those on December 6, March 14, and April 11) where he introduces a new and engaging format, making the concerts contemporary, educational, and entertaining for all ages. In addition, Outwater leads the Orchestra in Davies Symphony Hall on New Year’s Eve. A celebrated champion of new music, Outwater teams up with composer Nathaniel Stookey to curate and perform two evenings at the SF Symphony’s new alternative performance space, SoundBox, in a program featuring musicians of the San Francisco Symphony in an in-depth look at California Musical Counterculture, including a major commission by composer Nicole Lizée.


Edwin Outwater is the Music Director of Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) in Canada and a regular guest conductor of the Chicago and New World Symphonies. In 2011, Outwater directed the KWS on its first commercial CD release in over a decade, From Here On Out, which features the music of Nico Muhly, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry (a KWS commission) on the Analekta label. In the United States, Outwater has also conducted the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Houston, Detroit, Seattle, and many others. International appearances include the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, New Zealand Symphony, Adelaide Symphony, and Malmö Symphony. In 2009 he made his professional opera debut with the San Francisco Opera conducting Verdi’s La Traviata, and he has since conducted Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires with concert:nova Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Opera, as well as Menotti’s one-act opera Amahl and the Night Visitors at New York’s Lincoln Center. He participated as Associate Conductor in both YouTube Symphony projects, at Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Outwater was Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony from 2001-2006 during which time he worked closely with Michael Tilson Thomas, accompanied the orchestra on tour and conducted numerous concerts each season. He made his subscription debut in 2002 with Kurt Masur conducting Britten’s War Requiem, and has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Evelyn Glennie, and many others. From 2001-05, Outwater was Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. During his tenure, he led the orchestra in all of their concerts as well as on tour through Europe in summer 2004, when the orchestra made its debut at Vienna’s Musikverein and Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and returned to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Before joining the San Francisco Symphony, Outwater served as Resident Conductor and Associate Guest Conductor of the Florida Philharmonic. He has held posts as Associate Conductor of the Festival-Institute at Round Top in Texas, Principal Conductor of the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in Molise, Italy, and Assistant Conductor of the Tulsa Philharmonic. Learn more about Edwin Outwater at and follow him on Twitter at @eoutwater.

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