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Eckart Preu, conductor

Eckart Preu is Music Director of the Long Beach Symphony (CA), the Portland Symphony (ME) and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra (OH).

Previously, he held the positions of Music Director of the Spokane Symphony, Stamford Symphony, Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony, and Resident Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. In Europe, Mr. Preu served as Music Director of the Orchestre International de Paris.

Career highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall and the Sorbonne in Paris.

Michael Wilson photo shoot 3.jpg

Photo: Michael Wilson


M. Daugherty: Letters from Lincoln 

Thomas Hampson, baritone

Spokane Symphony

A. Webern: Im Sommerwind

Spokane Symphony

A. Webern: Langsamer Satz

Spokane Symphony

E. Chapela: Rotor

Portland Symphony

A. Márquez: Máscaras Concerto for Harp & Orchestra

Ina Zdorovetchi, harp

Portland Symphony

A. Lara: Ángeles de Llama y Hielo (Angels of Fire and Ice)

Portland Symphony

N. Paganini: Violin Concerto No. 2 in B Minor, Op. 7

Sergey Malov, violin

New Zealand Philharmonia

His concerts have been aired from coast to coast and on Jerusalem Radio.

His tenure as Music Director in Spokane saw the opening of the newly renovated Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox in Spokane (WA). The theater now serves as the new home for the Symphony as well as the regional performing arts center.

A passionate performer of the core repertoire, Mr. Preu also believes in presenting neglected works. Past seasons featured compositions by Bloch, Berio, Markevich, Kabalevsky, Weinberger, and Schreker. A supporter of contemporary music he has presented compositions by Arvo Part, Carlos Surinach, Anne Clyne, Clint Needham, Avner Dorman, Pierre Jalbert and others.

In 2010 Mr. Preu initiated the exploration of the extraordinary music collected in Spokane in the Archives of Hans Moldenhauer which includes compositions by Griffes, Hartmann, Honegger, Kabalevsky, Schoenberg, Wagner, Webern and Weinberger. Music from the archives has been performed over several seasons in the main series as well as at a special festival.


Michael-Thomas Foumai: The Telling Rooms

Portland Symphony Orchestra

World Premiere

Harry Stafylakis: Arc of Horizon

Spokane Symphony

West Coast Premiere

Michael Daugherty: Letters from Lincoln 

Thomas Hampson, baritone

Spokane Symphony

World Premiere

William Thomas McKinley: Clarinet Concerto No. 4

Richard Stoltzman, clarinet

Stamford Symphony

Word Premiere

Roger Davidson: Prayer for Peace

Stamford Symphony

World Premiere

Joan Tower: Made in America

Stamford Symphony

Connecticut Premiere


Leigh Baxter: Lewis and Clark

Richmond Symphony

World Premiere


Enrico Chapela: Rotor

Portland Symphony

U.S. Premiere

Ana Lara: Ángeles de Llama y Hielo

Spokane Symphony

U.S. Premiere


Zhou Tian: Concerto for Flute and Orchestra

Mimi Stillman, flute

Ohio Premiere with Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra

Maine Premiere with Portland Symphony


Tomasz Goliński: Double Percussion Concerto No. 1

Tenerife Symphony Orchestra

World Premiere

Neboijsa Zivkovich: Mad Queen

Spokane Symphony

U.S. Premiere


As an opera conductor, Mr. Preu has led fully staged productions of:

G. Bizet: Carmen

Spokane Symphony, 2017


P. Glass: Les Enfants Terribles

Bard College

W.A. Mozart: Don Giovanni

Bard College

W.A. Mozart: La Finta Giardiniera

Weimar, Germany

W.A. Mozart: The Magic Flute

Opera Coeur d'Alene, 2015

G. Puccini: Gianni Schicchi

Weimar, Germany

G. Puccini: La Bohème

Spokane Sympony, 2015

G. Puccini: La Fanciulla del West

Opera Coeur d'Alene, 2014

G. Verdi: Rigoletto
Spokane Symphony


Eckart Preu is Music Director of the Long Beach Symphony, the Portland Symphony, and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. 


Previously, he held positions of Music Director with the Spokane Symphony (WA) and Stamford Symphony (CT), and served as Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony (VA), and Resident Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra (NY). In Europe, Mr. Preu was Music Director of the Orchestre International de Paris from 1993-95. 


His guest conducting engagements have included concerts with the Jerusalem Symphony (Israel), Auckland Philharmonia (New Zealand), Philharmonic Orchestra of Jalisco (Mexico), Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogota (Columbia), State Orchestra in Halle (Germany), Christchurch Symphony (New Zealand), and multiple appearances with the Symphony Orchestra of Chile, and the Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife (Spain).

A sought-after guest conductor in the US he has appeared with the American Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Eugene Symphony, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Symphony, Duluth Superior Symphony, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Wichita Symphony, and others. 


Career highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Sorbonne in Paris, and projects with Violins of Hope in Cincinnati, Long Beach, and Portland.


His first commercial recording was the world premiere of “Letters from Lincoln”, a work commissioned by the Spokane Symphony from Michael Daugherty, featuring baritone soloist Thomas Hampson. With the Portland Symphony Orchestra, he recorded the first commercial recordings of  Arturo Marquez’ “Mascaras”, Ana Lara’s “Angeles de llama y hielo” (Angels of Flame and Ice), and Enrico Chapela’s “Rotor”.


He has collaborated with internationally renowned soloists including Sarah Chang, Pepe Romero, Arturo Sandoval, Stephen Hough, Evelyn Glennie, Anne Akiko Meyers, Jeremy Denk, Leila Josefowicz, Louis Lortie,  Richard Stoltzman, and many others.


A native of Germany, Mr. Preu earned a master's degree in conducting from the Hochschule für Musik in Weimar studying under Gunter Kahlert. He also studied under Jean-Sebastien Bereau at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in France. Mr. Preu’s education was made possible by scholarships from the Herbert von Karajan Foundation, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and the French Ministry of Culture.


Eckart Preu’s early musical training was in piano and voice. At the age of 10, he became a member of the Boys Choir Dresdner Kreuzchor and went on to work with them as soloist, rehearsal pianist, and Assistant Conductor.


2022 American Prize for Orchestral Programming

2014 First Place ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming

2007 Communicator of the Year award from the Public Relations Society of America, Spokane Chapter

1996 Winner of the National Conducting Competition of the DAAD

1992 Scholarship of the Herbert von Karajan Foundation

1992-95 Scholarship of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation

1994-95 Scholarship of the French Ministry of Culture

Previous Positions

Music Director Spokane Symphony (2004-19)

Music Director Stamford Symphony (2005-17)

Associate Conductor Richmond Symphony (2001-04)

Resident Conductor American Symphony Orchestra (1997-2004)

Principal Conductor New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra (1999-2001)
Visiting Assistant Professor Bard College (1999-2001)

Resident Conductor American Russian Young Artists Orchestra (1999-2004)

Music Director Norwalk Youth Symphony (1998-2001)

Music Director Orchestre International de Paris (France) (1993-95)

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