American conductor Gerard Schwarz, born to Viennese parents in 1947, has been Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 1985 and of the RLPO since 2001. A graduate of The Juilliard School, he began his conducting career in 1966, and within ten years was appointed Music Director of the New York Chamber Symphony. In 1982 he became Music Director of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival; he was named Conductor of the Year by Musical America in 1994.
He has made over 125 recordings, receiving 10 Grammy nominations for American Music; he is recording cycles of Mahler symphonies and Strauss tone poems with the RLPO. He has conducted operatic productions with Washington, San Francisco and Kirov Operas. In 2001 he was named an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University. He began playing the piano at the age of five and the trumpet at eight; for the first few years of his professional life he made a career as a trumpet player. He has four children and divides his time between homes in Seattle and New York.