Gerard Schwarz

Place of Birth
Weehawken, NJ

Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 1985, Principal Conductor of the Eastern Music Festival, member of the NEA's National Council on the Arts, and a founding member of MOR's Advisory Board, Gerard Schwarz has been a frequent guest conductor with Music of Remembrance. His composition In Memoriam, recorded on MOR's fourth CD, For a Look or a Touch (Naxos), was his first MOR commission. Rudolf and Jeanette (2007) was his second. Schwarz has helped to build numerous orchestras including Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, the New York Chamber Symphony, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Tokyo Philharmonic. He began his conducting career in 1966, and within ten years he was appointed Music Director of the Waterloo Music Festival, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony, Eliot Feld Dance Company and the Erick Hawkins Dance Company. In 1981 he founded the Music Today Contemporary Series and served as its Music Director through 1989. From 1982 to 2001, he was Music Director of New York's Mostly Mozart Festival and currently serves as its Conductor Emeritus. Maestro Schwarz co-founded the New York Chamber Symphony in 1977 and served as its Music Director through the ensemble's 25th anniversary season in 2002. He was Music Director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from 2001 through 2006. His nearly 100 recordings with the Seattle Symphony alone have resulted in eleven Grammy nominations, three ASCAP awards, and Record of the Year and Stereo Review awards, and have been mainstays on the classical Billboard charts. Born to Viennese parents, Schwarz is a graduate of The Juilliard School. He is a recipient of the Ditson Conductor's Award from Columbia University and was named 1994 Conductor of the Year by Musical America. He holds honorary doctorates from The Juilliard School, Seattle University, the University of Puget Sound, Cornish College of the Arts and Fairleigh Dickinson University, as well as an Honorary Fellowship from John Moores University.