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Biography 669 words

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Born in Japan, Eiji Oue began his musical studies with piano lessons at the age of 4. Then, at 15, Oue entered the Taho School of Music as a performance major, beginning his conducting studies that same year with Hideo Saito, the teacher of Seiji Ozawa. In 1978 he was invited by Ozawa to spend the summer studying at the Tanglewood Music Centre, where he met Leonard Bernstein, who became his mentor and colleague, sharing the podium during three international tours with concerts in La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Opera de Paris-Bastille and in Moscow, St Petersburg, Berlin, Rome and other musical capitals. In 1990 he assisted Bernstein in the creation of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, serving as resident conductor for the Festival Orchestra. Eiji Oue is Conductor Laureate of the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, having served as Music Director from 2003-2011, and Conductor Laureate of the NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Hannover, following eleven years as their Music Director (1998-2009). He has also held the positions of Music Director of Pennsylvania’s Erie Philharmonic Orchestra (1991-1995), Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra (1995-2002), and Music Director of the Orquesta Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (Barcelona Symphony Orchestra) (2006-2010). Alongside these posts, he served as Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming from 1997 to 2003, and was the driving force behind founding one of the Festival’s most loved events, the annual outdoor Fourth of July community concert. In addition to his directorship of this festival, his summer engagements in the US have included appearances at the Ravinia, Tanglewood, Grand Park, Wolf Trap, Round Top and Midland music festivals.

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“The intensity prevailed from beginning to end, throughout this milestone account [of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder] conducted by Eiji Oue. His musicians were absolutely devoted, producing  the highest standard of execution that we can recall from the Orquesta Simfonica de Barcelona. He conducted this extremely complex music from memory and interpreted it with great power.”

El Mundo Cataluña

Born in Japan, Eiji Oue began his musical studies with piano lessons at the age of 4. Then, at 15, Oue entered the Toho Gakuen School of Music as a performance major, beginning his conducting studies that same year with Hideo Saito, the teacher of Seiji Ozawa. In 1978 he was invited by Ozawa to spend the summer studying at the Tanglewood Music Centre, where he met Leonard Bernstein, who became his mentor and colleague, sharing the podium during three international tours with concerts in La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Opera de Paris-Bastille and in Moscow, St Petersburg, Berlin, Rome and other musical capitals. In 1990 he assisted Bernstein in the creation of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, serving as resident conductor for the Festival Orchestra.

Eiji Oue is Conductor Laureate of the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, having served as Music Director from 2003-2011, and Conductor Laureate of the NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Hannover, following eleven years as their Music Director (1998-2009). He has also held the positions of Music Director of Pennsylvania’s Erie Philharmonic Orchestra (1991-1995), Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra (1995-2002), and Music Director of the Orquesta Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (Barcelona Symphony Orchestra) (2006-2010). Alongside these posts, he served as Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming from 1997 to 2003, and was the driving force behind founding one of the Festival’s most loved events, the annual outdoor Fourth of July community concert. In addition to his directorship of this festival, his summer engagements in the US have included appearances at the Ravinia, Tanglewood, Grand Park, Wolf Trap, Round Top and Midland music festivals.

Eiji Oue has guest conducted throughout the United States, working with the most prestigious orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Saint Louis, Montreal and Toronto. In Europe he has conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the symphony orchestra of the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, the Oslo Philharmonic, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, National Orchestra of Spain, Swedish Radio Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, and the orchestras of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and WDR Cologne. In 2005 he made his debut at the Bayreuth Festival conducting Tristan und Isolde.

Highlights of recent seasons have included tours of Japan and South America with the NDR Philharmonic, his debuts at the Orquesta Sinfonia Brasileira, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and the Shanghai and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestras, performances with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Tonkuenstler Orchestra of Vienna, the MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, and a production of Die Fledermaus at Tokyo’s Nikikai Opera. In the 2013/14 season and beyond, he undertakes a tour of major European cities with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and returns to the Bern Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, Barcelona Symphony, and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestras.

Eiji Oue has recorded extensively with the Minnesota Orchestra in repertoire including Bernstein, Stravinsky, Mahler, Strauss, Copland and Rachmaninov. With the NDR Hannover he has recorded the music of Antheil, Martinu, Schnittke, and Strauss’s orchestral songs with soprano Michaela Kaune, and for DG he recorded the violin concertos of Paganini and Spohr with Hilary Hahn. He has a particular passion for working with young musicians and since 2000 has been Professor of Conducting at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover. Among his numerous honours and awards are the 1980 Koussevitzky Prize at Tanglewood and both first prize and the Hans Haring Gold Medal at the 1981 Salzburg Mozarteum conducting competition. In November 2005 he received the Praetorius Music Prize from the state of Lower Saxony.


SEASON  2013/2014

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Photos

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Reviews

"This was a performance of intense expressivity, yet also rigorous control."

José Luis Vidal, El Mundo Cataluña

"The conductor, Eiji Oue, kept musical passions running high. [...] This is the raciest Tristan I have heard – flexibly shaped without losing the music’s contour, ever-sensitive to voices, never hot-headed."

Financial Times, Andrew Clark

"The Japanese maestro conducted with powerful gestures, producing an extrovert and theatrical sound, realising the score with a concentrated dedication and achieving a proportionate success. The orchestra responded with enthusiasm and efficiency to the directions of an ecstatic Oue, who tastefully unveiled this musical fresco, without a score."

Pablo Meléndez-Haddad, ABC Cataluña

"Japanese conductor Eiji Oue [...] conducted the extensive and complex Mahlerian score from memory with grand yet supple gesturing, his interpretation reaching peaks of sovereign intensity."

Antonio Iglesias, ABC Cataluña

"The big surprise however was not so much the twentieth century compositions, but the forceful, original and extraordinary interpretation Oue gave Tchaikovsky's Pathetique. With great refinement and an unprecedented security, Eiji Oue raised this performance far beyond the mere routine. The man has ideas, worked them through well with the orchestra and the result was amazing. In some moments of lyricism, Oue was reminiscent of Celibidache and his obsession with slow tempi to heighten the intimacy of the music. He approached the threshold of sound with maximum clarity and moments of great power, and did not gloss over the details. Rarely has the Philharmonic sounded as vigorous and as accurate as in the third movement. The tremendous ovation that followed it was in no way down to an audience unaware of concert conventions, but a truly spontaneous response to the overwhelming power of the music which is rarely as well served as this."

Pablo Kohan, La Nacion

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Discography