Renowned for his ‘extraordinary interpretations’ (La Nacion), ability to conduct from memory and inspire orchestras, along with his ‘trademark good humour […] and great energy’ (BackTrack), Maestro Eiji Oue is a frequent guest of many of the world’s top orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic.
Oue is currently Conductor Laureate of both the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, having served as its Music Director from 2003-2011, and NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Hannover, following an eleven year tenure as Principal Guest Conductor (1998-2009). He has also held the positions of Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra (1995-2002) and Orquesta Simfònica de Barcelona I Nacional de Catalunya (Barcelona Symphony Orchestra) (2006-2010). Whilst Music Director of Wyoming’s Grand Teton Music Festival (1997-2003), he was the driving force behind the found of one of the Festival’s most beloved events, its annual outdoor Fourth of July Community Concert.
In the coming season, Maestro Oue will be re-invited to perform with the Malaysian Symphony Orchestra, the Wroclaw Philharmonic, the Belgrade Philharmonic and the Orchestra della Toscana. He will also perform with the Orquesta Sinfonia de Tenerife, the Janacek Philharmonic Ostrava and the Orquesta de Valencia.
His recent season highlights include an extensive world tour celebrating the centenary of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, tours to Japan and South America with the NDR Philharmonic and debuts with the Orquesta Sinfonia Brasileira, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, and the Shanghai and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. He has also conducted the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazional della RAI, the MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonic. Recent opera highlights include Die Fledermaus at Tokyo’s Nikikai Opera.
Maestro 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’ orchestral songs with soprano Michaela Kaune, and for DG he recorded the violin concertos of Paganini and Spohr.
Passionate about musical education and stewarding the next generation of musicians, Oue is Professor of Conducting at the Hochschule fuer Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover, a post he’s held since 2000.
Born in Japan, Eiji Oue began his musical studies with piano lessons at the age of 4. At 15, Oue entered the Toho Gakuen School of Music as a performance major and began his conducting studies with Seiji Ozawa’s teacher Hideo Saito. In 1978, he was invited by Maestro Ozawa to spend the summer studying at the Tanglewood Music Center. It was there that he met Leonard Bernstein, who became his mentor and colleague. They shared the podium on three international tours with concerts at La Scala, Vienne State Opera, Opéra 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.
Amongst his many honours and awards are the 1980 Koussevitzky Prize at Tanglewood and both first prize and the Hans Harin Gold Medal at the 1981 Salzburg Mozarteum conducting competitions. In November 2005 he received the Praetorius Music Prize from the state of Lower Saxony and the Lower Saxony Order of Merit in 2009.
Images and text courtesy of IMG Artists