Maestro move: Dutchman quits

It has been announced in Milwaukee that Edo de Waart will retire as music director in 2017. He will be 76.

The orchestra is on a high and should have no difficulty naming a top-calibre successor.


edo de waart

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  • I played in a NYC “Youth Orchestra” under Maestro de Waart about 50 years ago. At the time, I had not met a nicer, more authentically enthusiastic, and more musical conductor. My memories of that experience—playing Brahms Fourth in Carnegie Hall—are among the most pleasant of my life.

  • Yes, er… um… very interesting… ( not) I played for Mr de Waart in several London orchestras in the 1970s and 1980s.
    Maybe since then he has ‘metamorphosed’ into a great conductor… ? I genuinely do hope so! However my abiding memory of him is that of a perfectly OK, ‘adequate’ ( to use one of Sir Simon’s words) ‘jobsworth’ conductor, rather meticulous and academic, but primarily rather dull. So, I’m not quite sure what the fuss is all about!

  • While the Milwaukee Symphony is fine artistically, it is less than fine fiscally. Just over a year ago, it was in danger of going out of business. It has downsized the orchestra and removed large scale works (like Mahler) from its schedule in order to save money. The house is frequently about 60% full. One does hope that better days are ahead, as de Waart has done much to improve the ensemble. Here is a link to a late 2013 description of the MSO’s dilemma:

  • Maybe it’s one of those “two nations divided by a common language” things, but I find this headline misleading. Yes, de Waart is going to be leaving Milwaukee, but he’s doing so at the end of his contract, at a pretty advanced age, and from what I can tell on perfectly cordial terms. Dutoit, by contrast, “quit,” suddenly, still under contract, and on acrimonious terms. “Retires” is perhaps also inaccurate because he’ll keep conducting, but it still would have been more appropriate than the unnecessarily sensationalistic “quit.”

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