Eckart Preu, conductor
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),
Auckland Philharmonia (New Zealand),
Jenaer Philharmoniker (Germany),
State Orchestra Halle (Saale), Germany
Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá (Columbia)
In the US he has performed with
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
West Coast Premiere
Michael Daugherty: "Letters from Lincoln"
Thomas Hampson, baritone
William Thomas McKinley: Clarinet Concerto no. 4
Richard Stoltzman, clarinet
Roger Davidson: “Prayer for Peace”
Joan Tower: “Made in America”
Leigh Baxter: “Lewis and Clark”
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)
Music Director Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra (since 2016)
Music Director Long Beach Symphony (since 2017)
Music Director Portland Symphony Orchestra (since 2019)
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-
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
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