Peter Oundjian was named Principal Conductor of the Colorado Symphony in February 2022. With a career spanning five decades, Oundjian began as a solo violinist, and first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet, followed by an international conducting career leading orchestras in virtually every major musical center in the world.
Recognized as a masterful and dynamic presence in the conducting world, Peter Oundjian has developed a multi-faceted portfolio as a conductor, violinist, professor and artistic advisor. He has been celebrated for his musicality, an eye towards collaboration, innovative programming, leadership and training with students and an engaging personality. Strengthening his ties to Colorado, Oundjian is now Principal Conductor of the Colorado Symphony in addition to Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival, which successfully pivoted to a virtual format during the pandemic summers of 2020 and 2021.
Now carrying the title Conductor Emeritus, Oundjian’s fourteen-year tenure as Music Director of the Toronto Symphony served as a major creative force for the city of Toronto and was marked by a reimagining of the TSO’s programming, international stature, audience development, touring and a number of outstanding recordings, garnering a Grammy nomination in 2018 and a Juno award for Vaughan Williams’ Orchestral Works in 2019. He led the orchestra on several international tours to Europe and the USA, conducting the first performance by a North American orchestra at Reykjavik’s Harpa Hall in 2014.
From 2012-2018, Oundjian served as Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra during which time he implemented the kind of collaborative programming that has become a staple of his directorship. Oundjian led the RSNO on several international tours, including North America, China, and a European festival tour with performances at the Bregenz Festival, the Dresden Festival as well as in Innsbruck, Bergamo, Ljubljana, and others. His final appearance with the orchestra as their Music Director was at the 2018 BBC Proms where he conducted Britten’s epic War Requiem.
Highlights of past seasons include appearances with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Iceland Symphony, the Detroit, Atlanta, Saint Louis, Baltimore, Dallas, Seattle, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras. With the onset of world-wide concert cancellations, support for students at Yale and Juilliard became a priority. In 2022/2023 season Oundjian will conduct the opening weekend of Atlanta Symphony, followed by return engagements with Baltimore, Indianapolis, Dallas, Colorado and Toronto symphonies, as well as a visit to New World Symphony.
Oundjian has been a visiting professor at Yale University’s School of Music since 1981, and in 2013 was awarded the school’s Sanford Medal for Distinguished Service to Music. A dedicated educator, Oundjian regularly conducts the Yale, Juilliard, Curtis and New World symphony orchestras.
An outstanding violinist, Oundjian spent fourteen years as the first violinist for the renowned Tokyo String Quartet before he turned his energy towards conducting.