Recognised as one of the most talented conductors of his generation, Edward Gardner began his tenure as Music Director of English National Opera in May 2007 with a critically acclaimed new production of Britten’s Death in Venice.
Under his direction, ENO has presented a series of stellar productions, including Damnation of Faust, Boris Godunov, Punch and Judy and Wozzeck. His eighth season at ENO includes productions of Fidelio, Peter Grimes, Thebans and Benvenuto Cellini. In recognition of his talent and commitment, Edward received the Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2008 for Best Conductor and in 2009, the Olivier award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. In June 2012 Edward was awarded an OBE for his Services to Music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Equally successful as an opera conductor outside ENO, Edward received immediate re-invitations from Metropolitan Opera, New York and La Scala, Milan after his début appearances of Carmen and Britten's Death in Venice. This season he returns to the Met with Der Rosenkavalier for a run celebrating the 100th anniversary of the work’s New York premiere. Prior to his appointment at ENO Edward was a regular at Paris Opera and in 2008 he returned to Glyndebourne Festival Opera for Britten’s Turn of the Screw.
In October 2015 Edward will take up his new appointment as Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra leading their 250th anniversary gala concert. He became their Principal Guest Conductor in August 2013 and has many exciting projects planned including recordings with Chandos and touring.
Edward has been Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since 2011. Highlights with the CBSO have included the UK premiere of Weltehos by Jonathan Harvey to mark the opening of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad and Britten’s Spring Symphony in Birmingham and War Requiem in St Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate Britten’s centenary year. The 2013/14 season will see the completion of a Mendelssohn cycle which will also be recorded for Chandos.
Edward enjoys a flourishing relationship with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Proms and in 2011 conducted the Last Night of the Proms, which was televised live to audiences worldwide, followed by the First Night of the Proms in 2012.
His other ongoing relationships in the UK include the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Edward also works regularly with young musicians including the CBSO and Barbican Youth Orchestras and in 2002 founded the Halle Youth Orchestra. He conducts at the major music colleges in London every season and in September 2013 leads the opening concert of the new Milton Court Concert Hall for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Internationally, the 2013/14 season and beyond will see Edward conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Frankfurt Radio, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Toronto Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Orchestra and Danish National Symphony. During recent seasons Edward has also worked with the NHK Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Houston Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
An exclusive recording artist for Chandos, Edward has most recently released critically acclaimed discs of Lutoslawski, Britten and Berio vocal and orchestral works. He has also made a number of recordings for EMI Records; Alison Balsom/Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra; Kate Royal/the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Kate Royal/English National Opera Orchestra.
Born in Gloucester in 1974, Edward was educated at Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music where he studied under the instruction of Colin Metters. He graduated in 2000 and went on to assist Mark Elder at The Hallé Orchestra for three years before being named as Musical Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 2004, a position he held for three years before joining ENO.