London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) has appointed Edward Gardner as principal conductor. He will take up his position at the start of the 2021-22 season and succeeds Vladimir Jurowski who has spent 12 years at the head of the Southbank-based orchestra. Jurowski becomes conductor emeritus and will conduct four concerts with the orchestra per season.
The 44-year-old from Gloucester will be the first British principal conductor of the orchestra since the late 1960s. His initial five-year contract will see him working with LPO during a 10-week period, including its London season as resident orchestra at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall and on international tours.
The new principal conductor, who is currently chief conductor of Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, first led LPO in 2003, and has continued to work with them ever since.
Gardner commented: “I’m thrilled to have been appointed principal conductor of the LPO. I worked with the orchestra early in my career and I was quite overwhelmed by the brilliance and virtuosity of the musicians. Returning to the orchestra recently, I’ve felt a sense of pleasure and privilege working with this inspiring group of musicians and relished the passion and hunger the LPO brings to performance.”
In recent seasons Gardner has conducted New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and returns to Convent Garden’s Royal Opera House this September to conduct Massenet’s Werther.
Timothy Walker, chief executive and artistic director of LPO, said: “It’s been fascinating to watch Ed grow into a great musician from his debut with us 16 years ago. During his 10 years at English National Opera, and more recently Bergen Philharmonic, Ed has mastered a huge range of orchestral and vocal repertoire. For him to now return to the UK as our principal conductor is exciting for not only the LPO but also for London and the UK’s cultural scene.”