American conductor Lawrence Foster is the music director of l’Opéra de Marseille, a position he has held since 2013. Previously, he has been the music director of Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona, Orchestre philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, among others. The Gulbenkian Orchestra, with whom he has been music director for 10 years, appointed him conductor laureate. He has toured this Orchestra around the world, partnering with leading soloist such as Lang Lang in Germany, Spain, and Brazil, as well as major festival destinations.
One of the most sought-after conductors of our time, Mr. Foster has been invited to be guest conductor by many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Filarmonia Arturo Toscanini of Parma, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and Hong Kong Philharmonic, and has frequently appeared at major festivals, including the Lucerne and Grafenegg festivals. Lawrence holds dear his deep and long-standing musical friendships with other outstanding artists, such as Evgeny Kissin, Arcadi Volodos, and Arabella Steinbacher.
In addition to his concert engagements, Lawrence Foster is an accomplished opera conductor and has appeared with major opera companies throughout the world. His opera productions at the Opéra de Marseille have received wide critical acclaim, and his regular guest conducting engagements at Frankfurt Opera, Hamburg State Opera, San Francisco Opera, and the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, among others, were enthusiastically reviewed. Mr. Foster recently conducted a concert version of Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler at the Enescu Fesstival in Bucharest, which had overwhelming success, as did the Traviata he led at the Savonlinna Opera Festival.
Mr. Foster’s discography includes a number of highly acclaimed recordings for Pentatone, notably of violin works with Arabella Steinbacher, as well as Bartók’s Two Portraits, Ligeti’s Romanian Concerto, Kodály’s Dances of Galanta and Háry Janos Suite, the four symphonies by Robert Schumann with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and Strauss’s Zigeunerbaron with NCR Radiophilharmonie Hannover. A critically acclaimed recording of Verdi’s Otello with the Gulbenkian Orchestra was released in 2017.
Born in 1941 in Los Angeles to Romanian parents, Lawrence Foster has been a major champion of Georg Enescu, serving as artistic director of the Georg Enescu Festival from 1998 to 2001. In January 2003 he was decorated by the Romanian president for services to Romanian music.