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Peter Oundjian

Peter Oundjian

Principal Conductor

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.

After a 14-year tenure as the Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and 6 years at the helm of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Oundjian was named Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival in 2019 and continues in that role. Oundjian, also served as the Colorado Symphony’s Principal Guest Conductor from 2003 to 2006 and has been a frequent collaborator over the years.

Recognized as a masterful and dynamic presence in the conducting world, Oundjian has developed a multi-faceted portfolio as a conductor, violinist, professor, and artistic advisor. He has been celebrated for his musicality, collaborative spirit, innovative programming, commitment to mentoring young musicians and an engaging personality that instantly puts musicians, students, and audiences at ease.

Now carrying the title of 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 and touring as well as a number of outstanding recordings; TSO garnered 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. In 2019, Oundjian presented his first in-person season as Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, where he has already garnered critical acclaim and attention for innovative programming and for commissioning new works, putting the Festival on the map of summer classical-music festivals.

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 conducted the Yale and Juilliard Symphony Orchestras and the New World Symphony during the 2018/19 season.

An outstanding violinist, Oundjian spent fourteen years as the first violinist of the renowned Tokyo String Quartet before he turned his energy towards conducting.