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EDWIN OUTWATER is the newly appointed Music Director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in Ontario, Canada. He served as Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony from 2001 to 2006 and held the post of Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2001 to 2005. In both capacities, he worked closely with Michael Tilson Thomas, accompanying the orchestra on tour and conducting numerous concerts each season.
Outwater made his subscription concert debut with the San Francisco Symphony in October 2002, and has since led that orchestra in many unique subscription concert programs, such as the American premiere of Robin Holloway’s Viola Concerto, the West Coast premiere of Chen Yi’s Percussion Concerto with soloist Evelyn Glennie, and HK Gruber’s Frankenstein! with the composer as narrator and soloist. He has also conducted the orchestra with cellist Yo-Yo Ma as soloist.
As Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, Outwater led the orchestra in all of their concerts as well as on tour to Europe in the summer of 2004. During the tour, the orchestra made its debut at Vienna’s Musikverein and at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and returned to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.
In North America, Outwater has appeared as guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and others. Internationally, he as appeared with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Adelaide Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra of New Zealand.
In the 2007/08 season, Outwater returned to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for several appearances and made his Civic Orchestra of Chicago debut, in addition to first performances with the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the San Antonio Symphony, the Charlotte Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, and the Malmo Symphony of Sweden. He will also return to both the San Francisco Symphony and the New World Symphony in Miami.
Outwater’s work in music education and community outreach has been widely acclaimed. In 2004 his education programs were given the Leonard Bernstein Award for excellence in educational programming, and his Chinese New Year program was given the MetLife award for community outreach. At the San Francisco Symphony, he conducts Family Concerts and Adventures in Music performances, which are heard by more than 25,000 students from San Francisco schools each year, and Concerts for Kids, which serve students from throughout Northern California. In Florida, Outwater designed the Florida Philharmonic Family Series and its Music for Youth program, which was heard annually by more than 40,000 fifth-grade students in South Florida. He appears frequently with youth orchestras throughout the United States and across the world. Outwater has served as music director of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, and has been on the faculties of the University of Tulsa, the Idyllwild Arts Academy, and the University of California, Santa Barbara.
A native of Santa Monica, California, Edwin Outwater attended Harvard University, graduating cum laude in 1993 with a degree in English Literature. While at Harvard, he was music director of the Bach Society Orchestra and wrote the music for the 145th annual production of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. He received his master’s degree in conducting from UC Santa Barbara, where he studied with Heiichiro Ohyama and Paul Polivnick.