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Edwin Outwater Named Principal Guest Conductor and Curator of BBC Concert Orchestra

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Outwater's role at the BBC began in 2022 when he debuted at BBC Proms with Cynthia Erivo in the Legendary Voices Prom.

June 27, 2024 by Alex Heigl

SFCM's Music Director Edwin Outwater has been named Principal Guest Conductor and Curator at the BBC Concert Orchestra, beginning in September 2024. Outwater will be working with the Orchestra's Director, Matthew Swann, and Anna-Maria Helsing, the Chief Conductor of the ensemble, but will continue to live in San Francisco and serve as Music Director at SFCM, a position he has held since 2020.

Cynthia Erivo and Edwin Outwater.

Cynthia Erivo and Edwin Outwater.

Outwater's appointment is especially noteworthy given that his history at the podium with the Concert Orchestra (one of five orchestras under the BBC) dates back only to 2022, when he made his debut at the broadcaster's "Legendary Voices'' edition of its popular Proms series, conducting the group in support of Cynthia Erivo. He followed it up with the Northern Soul Prom in 2023, which sold out the Royal Albert Hall and was the most-watched program on BBC Two the night of its broadcast. Additionally, for the past two years, Outwater has taken his popular Christmas Gaiety event across the pond for performances at the Royal Albert Hall.

The first season with the Concert Orchestra starts with the proverbial bang on September 2 with a tribute to Henry Mancini, one of the most iconic composers of 20th-century film. (The program also features some of Mancini's peers like Burt Bacharach, whose theme to Casino Royale will be played, and Julius Shecter, who composed "Spanish Flea," an era-defining smash hit for Herb Alpert.) Outwater will also appear in November with the Orchestra at the London Jazz Festival for a symphonic tribute to legendary tenor saxophonist John Coltrane.

“I am thrilled to join the BBC Concert Orchestra team," Outwater said. "Our work together so far has covered quite a lot of musical ground, and it all has been an absolute joy. I love that this orchestra both understands the importance of our great traditions, and enthusiastically embraces the possibilities of what an orchestra can be in contemporary culture. My career has followed a similar path, and I can’t wait to see what we create together in the years ahead.”

Learn more about studying Conducting at SFCM with Outwater.