The American conductor, Andrew Litton, is a graduate of the Fieldston School, New York. He studied piano with Nadia Reisenberg and conducting with Sixten Ehrling at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, receiving his Bachelor of Music degree and his Master of Music degree from in piano and conducting. He also recived lessons in conducring from Walter Weller at the Salzburg Mozarteum, Walter Weller in Hilversum and Edoardo Müller in Milan. His early teachers included John DeMaio. The youngest-ever winner of the BBC International Conductors Competition in 1982, he served as Assistant Conductor at Teatro alla Scala and Exxon/Arts Endowment Assistant Conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. under Rostropovich (1982-1985), where subsequenly he was Associate Conductor (1985-1986).
Andrew Litton started his conducting career with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, where he served as the principal conductor from 1988 to 1994. He brought the orchestra on its first American tour and producing 14 recordings, including the Grammy winning Belshazzar’s Feast. He is is now its conductor laureate. He served for twelve seasons as Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1994 to 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. Litton’s Dallas Symphony Orchestra's Sergei Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto recordings with Stephen Hough, widely hailed as the best since the composer’s own, won the Classical Brits/BBC Critics Award. Following his tenure with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, he was named Music Director Emeritus. Since 2003, he has been Artistic Director of the Sommerfest concerts of the Minnesota Orchestra, and in June 2008, his contract in this post was extended to 2011.
Andrew Litton has been Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway since 2003. In June 2008, his contract with the Bergen Philharmonic was extended through the 2010-2011 season. In March 2011, his Bergen contract was further extended through 2015. Litton will celebrate the orchestra’s 250th Anniversary in 2015. It is one of the world’s longest established orchestras. In recognition of Litton’s achievements with the Bergen Philharmonic, Norway’s King Harald knighted Litton with the Royal Order of Merit. Under Litton the Bergen Philharmonic has taken numerous tours, including debuts at the London BBC Proms and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, as well as appearances at Vienna’s Musikverein, Berlin’s Philharmonie, and New York’s Carnegie Hall - the capstone of its first American tour in 40 years. Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic record for the BIS and Hyperion labels, winning extraordinary critical acclaim for their Felix Mendelssohn, Igor Stravinsky, and Prokofiev series. Litton is scheduled to conclude his Bergen tenure in 2015 and to take the title of conductor laureate with the orchestra.
In June 2012, Andrew Litton accepted the post of Artistic Adviser with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra through the 2014-2015 season beginning September 1, 2012. In August 2013, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra elevated Litton's title to Music Director, with immediate effect.
Andrew Litton guest conducts the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies in North America and Europe. On March 9, 1989, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in New York, conducting Eugene Onegin. Conductor of many of the world’s top opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Australian Opera, Litton participated with the Bergen Philharmonic in founding the Bergen National Opera. Now its Artistic Advisor, Litton has conducted critically acclaimed, sold-out performances of Tosca, Carmen, The Flying Dutchman, and La Bohème. Orchestras he has conducted as a guest include: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,Detroit Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, among many others.
An accomplished pianist, Andrew Litton often conducts from the keyboard and enjoys performing chamber music with his orchestra colleagues. Litton is recognized as an authority on Gershwin, having extensively performed and recorded as pianist and conductor Gershwin’s works in America, Asia and Europe. He led the Covent Garden premiere of Porgy and Bess and arranged his own concert Suite of that work now performed throughout the world. The University of Michigan has asked Litton to join a distinguished panel of Gershwin experts in developing a Critical Edition of all Gershwin works. Passionate about the music and playing of the late Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, Litton just recorded his first solo piano album, a Tribute to Oscar Peterson, to be released this season.
After opening the 2013-2014 season in Bergen and Denver, Andrerw Litton returns to the orchestras of Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He also leads the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on tour to Bucharest. His calendar includes debuts with the Singapore Symphony and the National Taiwan Symphony. After collaborating in his student days as piano soloist with the legendary Rudolph Nureyev and Natalia Makarova, Litton returns to ballet to conduct the New York City Ballet’s new production of Delibes' Coppélia. This season he also conducts a new production of Fidelio, directed by Oskaras Korsunovas.
Andrew Litton has a discography of over 120 recordings with awards including America’s Grammy, France’s Diapason d’Or, and many British and other honors. His recordings include a Grammy-winning William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast with Bryn Terfel and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, a set of S. Rachmaninov's Piano Concertos with pianist Stephen Hough, a live performance recording of Sweeney Todd, performed with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Patti Lupone, which received a Grammy nomination. Other recordings: a Decca Walton Centennial boxed set, the complete Tchaikovsky Symphonies with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the complete S. Rachmaninov Symphonies with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet with the Bergen PhilharOrchestra, and many Gershwin recordings, both as conductor and pianist, with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Andrew Litton's many honors in addition to Norway’s Royal Order of Merit include an honorary Doctorate from the University of Bournemouth, Yale University’s Sanford Medal (2003), and the Elgar Society Medal.