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, Music Director of the New York City Ballet, is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Colorado Symphony, Conductor Laureate of Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony and Music Director Laureate of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic. Recently named Principal Guest Conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, he begins his new duties this autumn. Litton led the Dallas Symphony as Music Director from 1994 to 2006, leaving a legacy of touring including Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, the Berlin Philharmonie, and Vienna’s Musikverein. His Dallas Symphony series of young people’s “Amazing Music” video recordings is in use throughout schools in the United States and abroad. He regularly guest conducts leading orchestras and opera companies around the globe and adds to his discography of almost 130 recordings, which have garnered America’s Grammy Award, France’s Diapason d’Or and other honours.
This season, besides conducting over 30 ballets at the New York City Ballet, Litton appears with the Minnesota Orchestra (including at the 2017 Sommerfest of which he is Artistic Director), National Taiwan Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia. Other regular and recent collaborations include the BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra Ireland, Netherlands Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Bremen Philharmonic, and the Melbourne and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestras. Many of Litton’s concerts are audio and video cybercast live.
An avid Opera conductor with a keen theatrical sense, Litton has led major opera companies throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, and Deutsche Oper Berlin. In Norway, he was key to founding the Bergen National Opera, which he led in critically acclaimed performances of Tosca, Carmen, The Flying Dutchman, and La Bohème. Litton often conducts semi-staged opera programmes with symphony orchestras who enjoy the change of repertoire. He always concludes the Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest with a sold-out Opera performance – this season Strauss’ Salome.
Litton’s work with New York City Ballet has earned praise from critics, dancers, and audiences, bringing new prominence to the Ballet’s orchestra. Litton’s first work in ballet began while he was still a Juilliard student, performing as on-stage pianist for Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, and Cynthia Gregory. An accomplished pianist, Litton often performs as piano soloist, conducting from the keyboard. He participates with orchestra colleagues throughout the world in chamber music concerts.
Litton, an acknowledged expert on George Gershwin, has performed and recorded Gershwin widely as both pianist and conductor and serves as Advisor to the University of Michigan Gershwin Archives. 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.
Born in New York City, Litton is a graduate of New York’s Fieldston School. Litton earned degrees from the Juilliard School in piano and conducting. He served as assistant conductor at La Scala and at the National Symphony under Rostropovich. Among his numerous awards are Yale’s Sanford Medal, the Elgar Society Medal, and an honorary Doctorate from the University of Bournemouth. For his work with the Bergen Philharmonic, Norway’s King Harald V knighted Litton with the Norwegian Royal Order of Merit.