Andrew Litton is Music Director of the New York City Ballet. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Conductor Laureate of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Laureate of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic. Under his leadership the Bergen Philharmonic gained international recognition through extensive recording and touring, making debuts at the BBC Proms, at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and appearances at Vienna’s Musikverein, Berlin’s Philharmonie, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. For his work with the Bergen Philharmonic, Norway’s King Harald V knighted him with the Norwegian Royal Order of Merit.
Andrew was Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra from 1988-1994. During this time, he led the orchestra on their first American tour and produced 14 recordings, including the Grammy-winning Belshazzar’s Feast. As Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra 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. He regularly guest conducts leading orchestras and opera companies around the globe and adds to his discography of over 130 recordings, which have garnered America’s Grammy Award, France’s Diapason d’Or and other honours.
In addition to conducting over 30 ballets at the New York City Ballet, Andrew returns regularly to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and guest conducts with a wide range of international orchestras, recently including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Colorado Symphony, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, and the Royal Swedish Orchestra.
An avid opera conductor with a keen theatrical sense, Andrew has led major opera companies throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Australian Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin. In Norway, he was key to founding the Bergen National Opera, where he led numerous critically acclaimed performances. He often conducts semi-staged opera programmes with symphony orchestras. During his 14-year tenure as Artistic Director of the Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest, he concluded the Festival with sold-out performances of Salomé, Der Rosenkavalier, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Tosca, Rigoletto, La Traviata and others.
Andrew’s work with New York City Ballet has earned praise from critics, dancers, and audiences, bringing new prominence to the Ballet’s orchestra. He began his ballet work while still a Juilliard student, performing as on-stage pianist for Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, and Cynthia Gregory.
An accomplished pianist, Andrew often performs as piano soloist, conducting from the keyboard, most recently Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in Singapore. An acknowledged expert on George Gershwin, he 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, Andrew arranged his own concert suite of the work, which is now performed around the world. In 2014 he released his first solo piano album, A Tribute to Oscar Peterson, a testimony to his passion for jazz, particularly the music of that great pianist.
Andrew’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. He also received a Grammy nomination for his recording of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with the New York Philharmonic and Patti Lupone.
Born in New York City, Andrew graduated from the Fieldston School and earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School in Piano and Conducting. He served as assistant conductor at La Scala and at the National Symphony under Rostropovich. His many honours in addition to Norway’s Order of Merit include Yale’s Sanford Medal, the Elgar Society Medal, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bournemouth.