Andrew Litton

Andrew Litton is Music Director of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest, and Conductor Laureate of Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony. He guest conducts the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies and has a discography of almost 90 recordings, including a Grammy and other honors.

Mr. Litton, an orchestra builder and the first American Music Director of the Bergen Philharmonic, raised its international profile since taking the helm in 2003. One of the world’s oldest orchestras, founded in 1765, the Bergen Philharmonic was little known beyond its native fjords. Under Litton the Bergen Philharmonic tours Europe extensively, made a BBC Proms London début and appeared at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Vienna’s Musikverein. The orchestra toured America for the first time in 40 years and appeared at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Their tour in March of 2011 will include a return to the Musikverein and virtually every major city in Germany. Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic record for the BIS and Hyperion labels, winning extraordinary critical acclaim for a BIS series of Mendelssohn recordings. A Stravinsky ballet series will be released this season.

Highlights of the current season include an October début with the Sydney Opera in Der Rosenkavalier and a return to the Deutsche Oper in a new production of Strauss’ Die Liebe der Danae. In summer 2010 Mr. Litton returns for his eighth season as Artistic Director of Minnesota’s Sommerfest, performing as pianist and conductor and concluding the festival with a semi-staged production of Tosca. He also returns to London’s Albert Hall BBC Proms, leading the Royal Philharmonic in a live televised culmination of the BBC’s Bach Day celebrations. During the regular season Mr. Litton returns to the Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, MDR Sinfonie of Leipzig, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Orchestra Nationale de Lille, among others.

Last season Mr. Litton made debuts with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Hamburg Symphony, and the City of London Sinfonia. He returned to the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony, the Melbourne Symphony, the Tonkuenstler Orchestra of Vienna, among others. He also appeared several times with Britain’s Royal Philharmonic.

Mr. Litton’s recordings include a Grammy-winning “Belshazzar’s Feast” with the Bournemouth Symphony and baritone Bryn Terfel, a Grammy nominated “Sweeney Todd” with the New York Philharmonic and Patti Lupone, and numerous recordings in a dual role of pianist conducting from the keyboard. Mr. Litton’s Mendelssohn Symphony series with the Bergen Philharmonic won one of BBC Magazine’s coveted annual awards and special recognition in Gramophone and Classic FM magazines.

Mr. Litton was Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony from 1988-1994, bringing it on its first American tour and producing 14 recordings, including the Grammy winning “Belshazzar’s Feast”. Music Director of the Dallas Symphony from 1994-2006, he hired over one third of the players, led the orchestra on three major European tours, appeared four times at Carnegie Hall, created a children’s television series broadcast nationally and in widespread use in school curricula, and produced 28 recordings. Mr. Litton’s Dallas Symphony Rachmaninov Piano Concerto recordings with Stephen Hough, widely hailed as the best since the composer’s own, won the Classical Brits/BBC Critics Award.

Andrew Litton, a graduate of the Fieldston School, New York, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard in piano and conducting. The youngest-ever winner of the BBC International Conductors Competition, he served as Assistant Conductor at Teatro alla Scala and Exxon/Arts Endowment Assistant Conductor for the National Symphony under Rostropovich. His many honors include an honorary Doctorate from the University of Bournemouth, Yale University’s Sanford Medal, and the Elgar Society Medal.
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