Andrew Litton, Music Director of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest, and Conductor Laureate of Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony, recently also became Music Director of the Colorado Symphony. He guest conducts the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies and has a discography of over 120 recordings with awards including America’s Grammy, France’s Diapason d’Or, and many British and other honors.
First appointed Bergen Philharmonic Music Director in 2003, Litton will celebrate the orchestra’s 250th Anniversary in 2015. It is one of the world’s longest established orchestras. In recognition of Litton’s achievements with the Bergen Philharmonic, Norway’s King Harald knighted Litton with the Royal Order of Merit. Under Litton the Bergen Philharmonic has taken numerous tours, including debuts at the London BBC Proms and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, as well as appearances at Vienna’s Musikverein, Berlin’s Philharmonie, and New York’s Carnegie Hall - the capstone of its first American tour in 40 years. Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic record for the BIS and Hyperion labels, winning extraordinary critical acclaim for their Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev series.
After opening the 2013-14 season in Bergen and Denver, Litton returns to the orchestras of Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, the English Chamber Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony, and the Bournemouth Symphony. He also leads the Royal Philharmonic on tour to Bucharest. His calendar includes debuts with the Singapore Symphony and the National Taiwan Symphony
After collaborating in his student days as piano soloist with the legendary Rudolph Nureyev and Natalia Makarova, Litton returns to ballet to conduct the New York City Ballet’s new production of Delibes Coppélia,
Conductor of many of the world’s top opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Australian Opera, Litton participated with the Bergen Philharmonic in founding the Bergen National Opera. Now its Artistic Advisor, Litton has conducted critically acclaimed, sold-out performances of Tosca, Carmen, Flying Dutchman, and La Bohème. This season he conducts a new production of Fidelio, directed by Oskaras Korsunovas.
An accomplished pianist, Litton often conducts from the keyboard and enjoys performing chamber music with his orchestra colleagues. Litton is recognized as an authority on Gershwin, having extensively performed and recorded as pianist and conductor Gershwin’s works in America, Asia and Europe. He led the Covent Garden premiere of Porgy and Bess and arranged his own concert Suite of that work now performed throughout the world. The University of Michigan has asked Litton to join a distinguished panel of Gershwin experts in developing a Critical Edition of all Gershwin works. Passionate about the music and playing of the late Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, Litton just recorded his first solo piano album, a Tribute to Oscar Peterson, to be released this season.
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, produced 28 recordings, and helped raise the orchestra’s endowment from $19 million to $100 million. 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. Litton also received a Grammy nomination for his recording of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with the New York Philharmonic and Patti Lupone.
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 in addition to Norway’s Royal Order of Merit include an honorary Doctorate from the University of Bournemouth, Yale University’s Sanford Medal, and the Elgar Society Medal.
For further information, visit www.andrewlitton.com.
This is Scott O’Neil’s eighth season with the Colorado Symphony, and his third full season as resident conductor. O’Neil maintains a strong commitment to making music of the highest quality accessible to young audiences. He served as associate conductor for the Utah Symphony, which he joined in August 2000. O’Neil has guest conducted the Houston Symphony, Houston Youth Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, Florida Philharmonic, Tulsa Philharmonic, Portland Symphony (Maine), the Lubbock Symphony, the Boise Philharmonic, the Salt Lake Symphony and the Columbus Symphony in Ohio. O’Neil studied piano performance at the Oberlin College Conservatory, served as the assistant conductor of the Eastman School Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras at the Eastman School of Music, and earned a master’s degree in orchestral conducting at Rice University, where he was the director of the Campanile Orchestra, a community/university orchestra. In 1999 he served as director of orchestras at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas. In the spring of 2003, O’Neil was selected by the League of American Orchestras (LAO) to conduct an orchestra comprised of members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and advanced students from the University of Southern California in Synergy, a program created to promote young, contemporary composers. Also in the spring of 2003, O’Neil was selected by LAO to appear on the Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony. O’Neil is prominently featured with the Colorado Symphony as conductor and creator of the Inside the Score series, in addition to appearances on each of the Masterworks, Family, Pops and Holiday Series.
Recently awarded two Grammy's® for Best Choral Performance and Best Classical Recording, Duain Wolfe is founder and director of the Colorado Symphony Chorus and music director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. This year marks Wolfe’s 30th season heading the Colorado Symphony Chorus. The Chorus provides vital support for numerous performances and radio broadcasts with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra each season, and has been featured at the Aspen Music Festival each summer for two decades. Wolfe—who is in his 20th season with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, America’s largest professional chorus, has collaborated with Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, and the late Sir George Solti on numerous recordings with the Chicago Symphony, among them Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, which won the 1998 Grammy® for Best Opera Recording. Wolfe’s extensive musical accomplishments have resulted in numerous awards, including an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Denver, the Bonfils Stanton Award in the Arts and Humanities, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in an Artistic Discipline and the Michael Korn Award for the Development of the Professional Choral Art. Wolfe is also founder/director of the Colorado Children’s Chorale, from which he retired in 1999 after 25 years; celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. For 20 years, Wolfe also was active with the Central City Opera Festival as chorus director and conductor, founding and directing the company’s young artist residence program, as well as its education and outreach programs. Wolfe’s additional accomplishments include directing and preparing choruses for Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, Vail’s Bravo!Festival, the Berkshire Choral Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Grand Teton Music Festival. He has worked with Pinchas Zuckerman as Chorus Director for the Canadian National Arts Centre Orchestra for the past twelve years.