One of North America’s most creative, dynamic, and engaging conductors, Edwin Outwater is music director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in Ontario, Canada.
Now launching his ninth season as Music Director of Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS), Edwin Outwater also serves as Director of Summer Concerts at the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and regularly guest conducts the Chicago and New World Symphonies. An ardent champion of new music and cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration, he is a visionary programmer equally adept at interpreting canonical masterworks, premiering new commissions, and connecting audiences with repertoire beyond the mainstream. This American conductor is, as San Francisco Classical Voice notes, “headed for a top-tier future.”
Outwater and the KWS continue their groundbreaking Intersections series in 2015-16, collaborating with award-winning 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. In his second season as Director of Summer Concerts at the SFS, Outwater helps lead its trailblazing series SoundBox; directs collaborations with pianist Stephen Hough, My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden, and Grammy Award-winners Angelique Kidjo and Mark Inouye; conducts repertoire ranging from Rachmaninoff and Beethoven to new music by Bryce Dessner, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and David Lang; and curates and conducts the Music for Families series. An extensive guest-conducting schedule spanning three continents includes returns to the Chicago and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphonies, accounts of Pulitzer Prize-winner 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 (BBCNOW).
Outwater has also conducted the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras; led symphony orchestras including Baltimore, Houston, and Seattle; conducted 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, Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, and Hong Kong Sinfonietta, among others. He has served as Resident Conductor of the SFS, Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Principal Conductor of the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in Molise, Italy.
A native of Santa Monica, California, Edwin Outwater graduated cum laude in English literature from Harvard University, where he was music director of the Bach Society Orchestra and the a cappella group Harvard Din and Tonics. He received his master’s in conducting from UC Santa Barbara, where he studied with Heiichiro Ohyama and Paul Polivnick, in addition to studying music theory and composition with John Stewart, Joel Feigin, and Leonard Stein.