Recently appointed Music Director of New York City Ballet Orchestra Andrew Litton holds positions across the world including Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest. He guest conducts the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies and has a discography of over 120 recordings with awards including America’s Grammy and France’s Diapason d’Or. Also an accomplished pianist, Litton often conducts from the keyboard and is recognized as an authority on Gershwin, having extensively recorded and performed his works as pianist and conductor including the Covent Garden premiere of Porgy and Bess.
Andrew Litton currently serves as Music Director of New York City Ballet, Artistic Director of Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest, Principal Guest Conductor of the Colorado Symphony, Conductor Laureate of the Bournemouth Symphony and Music Director Laureate of the Bergen Philharmonic. He guest conducts the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies and has a discography of over 120 recordings with awards including America’s Grammy, France’s Diapason d’Or, and many other honours.
Litton concluded his Music Director tenure in Bergen in grand style last year, leading a Gala Concert that celebrated the Orchestra’s 250th Anniversary. Under his leadership, the Bergen Philharmonic gained international recognition through touring, including débuts at the BBC Proms and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, as well as appearances at Vienna’s Musikverein, the Philharmonie in Berlin and Carnegie Hall in New York. His work in Bergen brought many tributes, including a knighthood in the Norwegian Royal Order of Merit.
Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony from 1988-1994, Litton brought it on its first American tour and produced 14 recordings, including the Grammy winning Belshazzar’s Feast. Music Director of the Dallas Symphony from 1994-2006, he hired over one third of the players, led the orchestra on three major European tours, appeared four times at Carnegie Hall, created a children’s television series broadcast nationally and in widespread use in school curricula, produced 28 recordings, and helped raise the orchestra’s endowment from $19 million to $100 million. Litton’s Dallas Symphony Rachmaninov Piano Concerto recordings with Stephen Hough, widely hailed as the best since the composer’s own, won the Classical Brits/BBC Critics Award. Litton also received a Grammy nomination for his recording of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with the New York Philharmonic and Patti Lupone.
Litton has conducted major opera companies around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden and Deutsche Oper Berlin. In Bergen, he was key to founding the Bergen National Opera, which he has led in critically acclaimed, sold-out performances of Tosca, Carmen, The Flying Dutchman, and La Bohème.
Highlights of his 2016-17 performances besides his regular appearances with the Bergen Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra and the Colorado Symphony, include return engagements with the Netherlands Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia in Spain and the Symphony Orchestras of Melbourne, Singapore, and Bournemouth. Other regular and recent collaborations include the BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, RTE Symphony Orchestra Ireland, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Bremen Philharmonic, and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
An accomplished pianist, Litton often conducts from the keyboard and performs chamber music with colleagues. He is an acknowledged expert on George Gershwin and has performed and recorded Gershwin widely as both pianist and conductor. After leading the Covent Garden debut of Porgy and Bess, he arranged his own concert suite of that work, which is now performed around the world. In 2014 he released his first solo piano album, A Tribute to Oscar Peterson, testimony to his passion for jazz, particularly the music of that great pianist.
Andrew Litton, a graduate of the Fieldston School, New York, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard in piano and conducting. The youngest-ever winner of the BBC International Conductors Competition, he served as Assistant Conductor at Teatro alla Scala and Exxon/Arts Endowment Assistant Conductor for the National Symphony under Rostropovich. His many honors in addition to Norway’s Order of Merit include an honorary Doctorate from the University of Bournemouth, Yale University’s Sanford Medal, and the Elgar Society Medal.