Sponsored by Ted & Tanya Jernigan
Huw Edwards is now in his tenth season as Music Director of the Olympia Symphony Orchestra, having been selected after a yearlong audition process during the 2002-3 Season. There has been a continued sense of excitement in Olympia about Huw’s tenure and he is credited with greatly improving the quality of the Orchestra, selecting challenging yet rewarding programs and being very active in the community. Last season, Classical High Five, was heralded as the best yet, with such notable highlights as Beethoven’s First Symphony, music from Stravinsky’s The Firebird, Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony, and a concert of contrasting Rhapsodies.
In May 2012—following a competitive application and interview period—Mr. Edwards was named the new Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Huw has also been engaged as guest lecturer at South Puget Sound Community College: he talks to the students in the Music Appreciation Class about each OSO program before it is performed, and also presents a “brown bag” pre-concert talk open to the entire campus community.
Mr. Edwards was the Music Director of the Portland Columbia Symphony in Oregon from 2000-2012, where he consistently received critical acclaim from audiences, guest soloists and the press for his intense performances and daring programming. Highlights of his farewell season included Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, Bruckner’s valedictory Ninth Symphony at St. Mary’s Cathedral, and the Symphonie fantastique by Berlioz. Huw stepped down from this post in June 2012 as was immediately named the Orchestra’s Conductor Emeritus and Principal Guest Conductor.
From 2002-5 Mr. Edwards was Music Director of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras and was a faculty member at the Marrowstone Music Festival from 1998 to 2005. Mr. Edwards moved to Seattle after seven wonderful seasons (1995-2002) as Music Director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic in Oregon, a tenure which included numerous innovations, a coveted ASCAP Award and landmark tours to Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Active as a guest conductor, Mr. Edwards has performed with the Oregon Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Eugene Symphony, Yakima Symphony and has worked with the symphony orchestras of Dallas and Memphis, as well as with ensembles in Illinois, New York, Idaho, Vermont, Utah, Minnesota, Oregon, Nebraska, Washington, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, and throughout the United Kingdom. Recent guest engagements have included the Salem Chamber Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in Madison at their “Concerts on the Square”, the Northwest Mahler Festival Orchestra, a return to the pit for a hugely-successful triple-bill with Ballet Northwest, a concert with Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers in December. Huw will return to conduct the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra this May (Elgar’s Second Symphony), and has also been invited back to Oregon to work with the PYP (Tchaikovsky’s Sixth) and the Portland Conservatory Orchestra (Bruckner Symphony No. 7).
Born in Wales, Great Britain, Mr. Edwards holds degrees from the University of Surrey in England and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Mr. Edwards came to the Northwest from Chicago, Illinois, where he was a lecturer at Northwestern University and a Doctoral candidate. Mr. Edwards has been active as a conductor since the age of 17 when he was appointed Music Director of the Maidstone Opera Company in England—a post he held for six years—and came to the United States in 1988 on scholarship to attend SMU in Texas. His principal teachers have been Simon Johnson and Barry Wordsworth (London), Anshel Brusilow and Eduardo Mata (Dallas), and Victor Yampolsky (Chicago).