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.


As a guest conductor, he has appeared with

Jerusalem Symphony (Israel), 

Symphony Orchestra of Chile

Auckland Philharmonia (New Zealand),

Orquesta Filarmonica de Jalisco (Mexico),

Christchurch Symphony (New Zealand),

Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife (Spain),

Radio Philharmonic of Slovenia

Jenaer Philharmoniker (Germany),

Baden-Baden Philharmonic (Germany),

State Orchestra Halle (Saale), Germany

Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá (Columbia)

In the US he has performed with


Memphis Symphony Orchestra,

Delaware Symphony,

Duluth Superior Symphony,

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra,

Eugene Symphony,

Knoxville Symphony,

Wichita Symphony,

Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra


Career highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Sorbonne in Paris, and his first commercial recording of the world premiere of “Letters from Lincoln”, a work commissioned by the Spokane Symphony from Michael Daugherty, featuring baritone soloist Thomas Hampson. 2012 also saw a live CD recording featuring Paganini's Violin concerto no. 2 with Sergey Malov and the New Zealand Philharmonia.

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

His tenure as Music Director 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

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



As opera conductor he has lead fully staged productions of Rigoletto, Carmen, The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, La Finta Giardiniera, and Les Enfants Terribles among others.

A native of Germany, Mr. Preu came to the United States as winner of the National Conducting Competition of the German Academic Exchange Service (1996) for graduate studies with Harold Farberman at the Hartt School of Music where he also received the Karl Boehm Scholarship. In Germany he earned a masters degree in conducting from the Hochschule für Musik in Weimar studying under Gunter Kahlert and Nicolas Pasquet. 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. In November 1998, Mr. Preu took 3rd place at the International Competition for Young Conductors of the European Union in Spoleto, Italy.

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. He subsequently served as a vocal coach with the Altenburg Opera and the Erfurt Opera House in Germany. Mr. Preu was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bard College, NY (1999-2000) and in summers 2000 and 2001 he served on the guest faculty of the C.W. Post Chamber Music Festival.

Eckart Preu is also a frequent guest speaker for local businesses, community organizations and schools. He contributes a music column to the Stamford (CT) Advocate. In 2007 he received the Communicator of the Year Award of the Public Relations Society of America Spokane Chapter.

Recognizing music as tool for outreach, Eckart Preu conducted concerts in a unique collaboration with the Spokane Tribe of Indians, Wellpinit.

Photo Michael Wilson

Music Director Spokane Symphony (2004-2019)

Music Director Stamford Symphony (2005-2017)


Associate Conductor Richmond Symphony (2001-2004)
Artistic Director/ Conductor Richmond Symphony Young Performers Program/Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra (2001-2004)
Resident Conductor American Symphony Orchestra(1997-2004)
Principal Conductor New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra (1999-2001)
Guest Faculty C.W. Post Music Festival (2000-2001)
Visiting Assistant Professor Bard College (1999-2001)
Music Director Norwalk Youth Symphony (1998-2001)
Music Director Orchestre International de Paris (France) (1993-1995)
Assistant Conductor Radio France (1995)
Resident Conductor American Russian Young Artists Orchestra (1999-2004)
Assistant Conductor Hartt Symphony Orchestra (1996)

Present Positions

Music Director Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra (since 2016)

Music Director Long Beach Symphony (since 2017)

Music Director Portland Symphony Orchestra (since 2019)

Previous Positions

Guest Conducting

2013/14 Season       Symphony Orchestra of Chile, Eugene Symphony

2012/13 Season       Auckland Symphony (New Zealand), Symphony Orchestra of Chile

2011/12 Season       Wichita Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Philharmonie Baden-

                                     Baden (Germany)

2010/11 Season       Memphis Symphony, Portland (ME) Symphony, Fairfax

                                     Symphony, Duluth Symphony, Symphony Orchestra of Chile


2014 First Place ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming

2007 Communicator of the Year award from the Public Relations Society of America

              Spokane Chapter

1997 Karl Boehm Scholarship of the Hartt School of Music

1996 Winner of the National Conducting Competition of the DAAD

1992 Scholarship of the Herbert von Karajan Foundation

1992-1995 Scholarship of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation

1994-1995 Scholarship of the French Ministry of Culture