Edo de Waart: I’m down to my last orchestra

Edo de Waart: I’m down to my last orchestra


norman lebrecht

September 05, 2019

The Dutch conductor who has made a career of being music director in two or three countries at the same time is now slowing down.

At 78, he is in his final season with the New Zealand Symphony. After that, he’s done.

‘This new role feels more good than wierd I just have to get used to it,’ he tells a Dutch newspaper.

Read on here.


  • Novagerio says:


  • Bart says:

    Interesting snippet:
    In his hotel rooms De Waart likes to watch videos of admired colleagues like Claudio Abbado and Carlos Kleiber. ‘Yesterday I saw Kirill Petrenko and the Berlin Philharmonic. What a pure way of conducting that man has: a musician without any filters. Maybe some day I will give him a call to ask if I may attend his rehearsals.’

    • Esther Cavett says:

      The BPO simply *idolise* Petrenko. There’s fulsome praise by them here, esp from Sarah Willis :

      We should all keep an eye on KP – this is going to be a great era !

      Maybe Danny Boy gets irritated because with the new kid on the Berlin block there’s less praise for him these days. Also he got massively upstaged when Rattle did a stunning Janacek at “his” opera house.

      • Barry Guerrero says:

        I’m glad the BPO are enthused with Petrenko, but I’m always suspicious when the beginning ‘love affair’ is so overheated like this.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Classy: a 78 year old veteran being interested to learn from a colleague who is a generation younger. Reminds me of Haitink’s oft publicized remark on Carlos Kleiber, after watching Kleiber rehearse Otello, when both were are their late 50s: “I don’t know about you, but I think that my studies in this art have only just begun.”

      • Pedro says:

        I was at four Otellos during the last Kleiber visit to CG and I very well remember the astonishment in Haitink’s face as one of those performances was going on. He was sitting in a box on the left side and couldn’t move his eyes from the conductor. Neither did I who was in front of him.

        • Barry Guerrero says:

          Carlos Kleiber had about 1/50th the repertoire of Haitink. Anybody can be great with 20 pieces. And don’t forget he was a cancellation artist as well.

  • barry guerrero says:

    Everyone made such a big deal over Tilson-Thomas’ recorded Mahler in San Francisco. Frankly, I think DeWaart was generally better at it; somewhat similar to Haitink in approach. I think he got a better sound out of the S.F. orchestra as well.

  • Enquiring Mind says:

    Done as in retired?

    • Stephen Owades says:

      Read the linked article (it’s available in English as well as Dutch) and you’ll see that although Edo de Waart will no longer hold any Music Directorships, he will continue with an active guest conducting schedule around the world.

  • guest says:

    These younger conductors should be learning from de Waart, not the other way around!

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    1981 (or ’82?) was a great year for Mahler in S.F. Haitink and the Concertgebouw played Mahler 7 on tour. Months later, DeWaart and the S.F.S. played it. Both were outstanding performances.

  • Nick2 says:

    Of his various orchestras, it’s important to recall it was under his tenure that the Hong Kong Philharmonic really began to develop as a world class ensemble.