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A dynamic presence in the orchestral world, PETER OUNDJIAN continues to make his mark as one of today's most exciting new faces on the conducting scene. Stunning performances and cheering audiences prompted immediate appointments as Artistic Director of the Caramoor International Music Festival in Katonah, New York, Music Director of the Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Flemish Radio Orchestra in Belgium. He was recently named Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, with his appointment scheduled to begin with the 2004/2005 season.
As Music Director of the acclaimed Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, his concerts have been enthusiastically received, including a recent appearance before Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands. In addition to regular performances at the Concertgebouw and throughout Holland and Europe, Oundjian and the orchestra look forward to tours of Spain and Germany. After one performance with the Orchestra in 1998, Oundjian was the unanimous choice of the musicians and Board of Directors for the Music Director post.
In summer 2002, Oundjian returned to the Caramoor International Music Festival for his fifth season as Artistic Director. Oundjian's relationship with Caramoor began in 1981, as the first violinist of the renowned Tokyo String Quartet. He made his formal conducting debut there in 1995 with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, a performance in which he shared the podium with André Previn. Oundjian continues to be a regular presence at Caramoor, leading master classes and appearing as a guest conductor and lecturer. Other summer highlights include appearances at the Aspen Music Festival and the Hollywood Bowl, where Oundjian made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut in 2001.
Oundjian's 2002/2003 season includes return visits to the St. Louis Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as two programs with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields at the Barbican in London. Recent highlights include Oundjian's Carnegie Hall debut with the English Chamber Orchestra and baritone Bryn Terfel as part of a surprise performance honoring the 50th birthday of his close friend and colleague, Pinchas Zukerman. In addition, Oundjian's recent appearances abroad include the NDR Hanover Symphony, the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Canada, Peter Oundjian was educated in England, where he studied the violin with Manoug Parikian. During this time, Oundjian was chosen to participate in three recording sessions with Benjamin Britten, which sparked his enthusiasm for conducting. Subsequently, he attended the Royal College of Music in London, where he completed his studies in 18 months and was awarded the Gold Medal for Most Distinguished Student and the Stoutzker Prize for excellence in violin playing.
Oundjian completed his violin training at the Juilliard School in New York, where he studied with Ivan Galamian, Itzhak Perlman, and Dorothy DeLay. While at Juilliard, he had the opportunity to conduct for Herbert von Karajan during a historic three-day series of masterclasses. Oundjian holds a teaching post at the Yale School of Music and lives in Connecticut with his wife Nadine and their two children, Lara and Peter.