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Lawrence Foster

Lawrence Foster holds the positions of Music Director of Orchestre et Opéra National de Montpellier and Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra. He brought the Gulbenkian Orchestra to the Kissinger Sommer Festival for two concerts in June 2010, and will also take them to the Enescu Festival in Bucharest in September 2011. They have made a number of recordings for PentaTone Classics which include Salieri’s Requiem combined with Beethoven's Meerestille und gluckliche Fahrt and a CD of Hungarian music featuring works by Bartók, Kodály and Ligeti.

Orchestral highlights of this and future seasons include appearances with NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet), Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de Espana, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, the Residentie Orkest (with Aldo Ciccolini), Ensemble Orchestral de Paris (both in their own subscription series and on tour in Germany), Tivoli Symphony Orchestra (with Evgeny Kissin), Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig. Highlights of last season included concerts with the Gewandhausorchester (with Lisa Batiashvili as soloist), Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and an appearance at the Grafenegg Festival in July 2010 with the Tonkünstler Orchestra and Rudolf Buchbinder. He also conducted both Chopin Piano Concertos with Daniel Barenboim as soloist with both the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. He has a long-standing relationship with Radu Lupu; they performed all of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos together with Orchestre National de Lyon last season, and this season they will collaborate with Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne.

Lawrence Foster has worked with a number of major youth orchestras. In summer 2004 he brought the Australian Youth Orchestra to the BBC Proms and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and took the orchestra on tour again in July 2007. He toured with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie over Easter 2009, and also conducted the Academy Orchestra at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in August 2009. He previously served as Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School and returned to the festival in summer 2009 to celebrate its 60th year.

As an opera conductor, Lawrence Foster has appeared in major houses throughout the world. He works regularly at Hamburgische Staatsoper, with recent productions having included Pélléas et Mélisande, Der Freischütz and Carmen. Future plans in Hamburg include Pique Dame in 2011/12 and The Cunning Little Vixen in 2013/14. In 2011 he returns to Opéra de Marseille for Wozzeck and will also conduct the world premiere of Die Marquise von O by René Koering for Opéra de Monte Carlo. He will make his debut with Oper Frankfurt with a production of Khovanschina in 2012/13. His performance of Louise Bertin’s Esmeralda at the 2008 Montpellier Festival was released as a live recording.

With the Gulbenkian Orchestra Lawrence Foster presents at least one opera-in-concert in Lisbon per season. In 2010 he conducted Ariadne auf Naxos and in 2011 this will be Weber’s Die drei Pintos. As Music Director of Orchestre et Opéra National de Montpellier he led productions of Die Zauberflöte in autumn 2009, Otello in spring 2010 and in 2010/11 will conduct both Die Fledermaus and Samson and Delilah in concert.

Born in 1941 in Los Angeles to Romanian parents, Lawrence Foster has been a major champion of the music of Georg Enescu, serving as Artistic Director of the Georg Enescu Festival from 1998 to 2001. His latest Enescu recording – his own orchestration of the String Octet with Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo for EMI – was released in spring 2009.

Lawrence Foster has previously held Music Directorships with the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne.

In January 2003 he was decorated by the Romanian President for services to Romanian Music.
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