William Eddins, the recipient of the Seaver/NEA Conducting Award, a triennial grant of $50,000 to exceptionally gifted young American conductors, recently became the first Resident Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in its 110-year history. "An energetic conductor," says the Chicago Sun Times, "Eddins bends and pounces on the podium without turning himself into a distraction."
A frequent guest conductor of major orchestras throughout the world, recent engagements include the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Houston, San Antonio, Kansas City, Grant Park, Omaha, Columbus, Austin, Hartford, Memphis, and Colorado, the Louisiana, Dayton, Los Angeles, Jacksonville, Tulsa and Buffalo Philharmonics, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
As a conductor, he has endeavored to highlight American repertoire in his programming with works of established masters such as Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin, Antheil, Ruggles and Barber, while collaborating with contemporary composers such as Steve Reich, Steven Stucky, Brian Z÷lch and Pulitzer Prize winner Aaron Jay Kernis. He has commissioned Daron Hagen to compose a work for piano and orchestra to be premiered in the 02-03 season.
The Chicago Tribune lauds his abilities as a conductor: "Beyond his ability to tap into the musical eagerness of this year's Civic contingent, Eddins clearly has what it takes to make audiences respect his abilities as well. His beat is clear, his ear is keen and his gestures are communicative and graceful. The man has an admirable technique to impress well-considered musical ideas on an orchestra, and through them, to the listener." Mr. Eddins has performed at the Ravinia Festival with both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, and has conducted the Civic Orchestra of Chicago on several occasions. He has also conducted the orchestras of the Chautauqua Festival, Aspen Music Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.
Although focusing on his career as a conductor, Eddins continues his work as a pianist and chamber musician. He opened the 1999 season with the Chicago Symphony by conducting the Beethoven Triple Concerto from the keyboard with Pinchas Zukerman and Lynn Harrell and has performed with that orchestra in subscription concerts as piano soloist in Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F. He is founder and artistic director of the Prospect Park Players, a chamber music series based at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
He is conductor and host of a video entitled "On the Day You Were Born" with the Minnesota Orchestra. Based on the children's book of the same name by author/illustrator Debra Frasier, the work is for narrator and orchestra and was composed by Steve Heitzeg. Since its release it has sold over 30,000 copies worldwide.
A native of Buffalo, NY, (born 1964) Mr. Eddins attended the Eastman School of Music, studying with David Effron and graduating at age eighteen, making him the youngest graduate in the history of the institution. He also studied conducting with Daniel Lewis at the University of Southern California and was a founding member of the New World Symphony in Miami, FL.
For more information, visit their website: http://www.omicronarts.com/html/eddins1.htm
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