Gardner, Edward

Edward Gardner

Edward Gardner OBE (born 22 November 1974) is an English conductor.


Gardner was born in Gloucester,[1] and sang as a chorister at Gloucester Cathedral. As a youth, he played piano, clarinet and organ.[2] He attended the King's School, Gloucester and Eton College. At the University of Cambridge, he continued as a music student, and was a choral scholar in King's College Choir. He had begun choral conducting at Eton, and continued conducting at Cambridge.[3] He also studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where his teachers included Colin Metters.[4] He graduated from the RAM in 2000.

From 1997 until 2002, Gardner was Musical Director of Wokingham Choral Society, a post previously held by Graeme Jenkins, Paul Daniel, and Stephen Layton. In 1999, whilst still a student at the Royal Academy of Music, Gardner became a repetiteur at the Salzburg Festival at the invitation of Michael Gielen, when another repetiteur had become ill.[5] Gardner subsequently served as an assistant conductor to Mark Elder at The Hallé Orchestra for 3 years.[6] In 2003, Gardner was named music director of Glyndebourne on Tour and formally took up the post in 2004.[7] He relinquished this post in 2007.

In 2005, Gardner was a winner of the Young Artist prize of the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS).[8] In March 2006, he was appointed music director of English National Opera.[9][10] He formally took up the post in May 2007, with an initial contract of 3 years.[11] Although there had not been any formal press announcements of Gardner extending his ENO contract, he publicly stated in 2011 his plans to work with ENO until at least 2015.[12] In January 2014, ENO announced the scheduled conclusion of Gardner's tenure as music director in 2015.[13]

In September 2010, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra announced the appointment of Gardner as its next principal guest conductor, effective September 2011, with an initial contract of 3 years, for 3–4 weeks of concerts per season.[14][15] He concluded his tenure as CBSO principal guest conductor in July 2016.[16] Outside the UK, in February 2013, Gardner was simultaneously named the next principal guest conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, effective August 2013, and the orchestra's next principal conductor effective with the 2015-2016 season. His initial contract as principal conductor was for 3 years.[17][18] In January 2017 the orchestra announced the extension of Gardner's contract in Bergen through 2021.[19]

Gardner has conducted several recordings for EMI Classics, including collaborations with Alison Balsom and Kate Royal.[4][20][21] He has also signed a recording contract with Chandos Records,[22][23] which has included recordings of music by Witold Lutosławski[24][25][26] and Benjamin Britten.[27]


In 2008, the RPS named Gardner its Conductor of the Year.[28] Gardner was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to music.[29][30]

Personal life

Gardner has a son, Charlie, born in March 2010,[2][31] from his past relationship with Alison Balsom.[32][33][34]


  1. ^ Christopher Morley (2007-11-15). "From opera pit to podium of the CBSO". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  2. ^ a b Andrew Clark (2010-09-11). "Edward Gardner: 'success is a two-edged sword'". Financial Times. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  3. ^ Neil Fisher (2007-05-18). "Gladiator at the Coliseum". The Times. London. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  4. ^ a b Michael Church (2009-06-21). "Edward Gardner: The man who rescued opera". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  5. ^ Charlotte Higgins (2007-04-19). "Enter the young pretender". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  6. ^ Neil Fisher (2005-08-12). "The good terrorists?". The Times. London. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  7. ^ Louise Jury (2006-03-08). "Rising star of British music becomes ENO director at age of 31". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  8. ^ Emma Love (2006-04-30). "Rising star: Edward Gardner, conductor". The Observer. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  9. ^ Richard Morrison (2006-03-08). "Young star takes baton in gamble to revive ENO". The Times. London. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  10. ^ Charlotte Higgins (2006-03-08). "Troubled opera company picks young conductor". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  11. ^ Rupert Christiansen (2007-09-20). "ENO needs a fresh beginning". Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  12. ^ Rupert Christiansen (2011-06-01). "Edward Gardner interview for Simon Boccanegra". Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-07-02. 
  13. ^ Mark Brown (2014-01-23). "English National Opera's Edward Gardner to leave". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-01-26. 
  14. ^ "Edward Gardner appointed as Principal Guest Conductor of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra" (Press release). City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. 10 September 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  15. ^ Christopher Morley (2010-09-24). "Dream come true for Edward Gardner". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  16. ^ Rian Evans (2016-07-14). "CBSO/Gardner: Falstaff review – played in the highest of end-of-term spirits". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  17. ^ "Et kupp for Harmonien". Norwegian Radio (NRK). 2013-02-19. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  18. ^ "Edward Gardner to head the Bergen Philharmonic". Gramophone. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  19. ^ Britt Sørensen (2017-01-05). "Edward Gardner får fornyet kontrakt med BFO". Bergens Tidende. Retrieved 2017-01-05. 
  20. ^ Geoff Brown (2009-05-01). "Kate Royal: Midsummer Night". The Times. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  21. ^ Alan Franks (2009-09-11). "Alison Balsom: 'don't compare me to Katherine Jenkins'". The Times. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  22. ^ Petroc Trelawny (2009-10-15). "English music desperately needs someone to replace the much-missed Richard Hickox (Music blog entry)". Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  23. ^ Fiona Maddocks (2010-05-02). "Gerald Finley: Great Operatic Arias(Chandos Opera in English)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  24. ^ Andrew Clements (2010-10-14). "Lutosławski: Concerto for Orchestra; Symphony No 3; Chain 3 – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  25. ^ Andrew Clements (2011-09-01). "Lutosławski: Chantefleurs et Chantefables; Les Espaces du Sommeil; Paroles Tissées, etc – review: Crowe/Spence/Purves/BBC SO/Gardner (Chandos)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-01-26. 
  26. ^ Fiona Maddocks (2012-11-17). "Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works III – review". The Observer. Retrieved 2014-01-26. 
  27. ^ Andrew Clements (2011-03-17). "Britten: Cello Symphony; Symphonic Suite from Gloriana etc – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  28. ^ Michael Church (2009-06-21). "Edward Gardner: The man who rescued opera". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  29. ^ "No. 60173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2012. p. 10. 
  30. ^ "Honours for Branagh and Jowell". BBC. 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  31. ^ Michael Tumelty (2010-04-28). "Raising the bar". The Herald. Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  32. ^ Alison Hoyle (16 May 2009). "The triumph of the trumpet majorette who became a Classical Brit". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 17 July 2009. 
  33. ^ "Classical music star Alison Balsom gets a tune out of dreaded vuvuzela". Daily Mail. 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  34. ^ Andy Whelan and Allan Hall (2011-04-18). "The music dies for 'trumpet crumpet' Alison Balsom and her Proms conductor". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2011-05-06.