Eiji Oue

Born in Japan, Eiji Oue began his musical studies with piano lessons at the age of 4. At 15, Oue entered the Toho Gakuen School of Music as a performance major, beginning his conducting studies that same year with Hideo Saito, the teacher of Seiji Ozawa. In 1978 he was invited by Ozawa to spend the summer studying at the Tanglewood Music Center where he met Leonard Bernstein, who became his mentor and colleague. They shared the podium on three international tours with concerts at La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Opera de Paris-Bastille and in Moscow, St Petersburg, Berlin, Rome and other musical capitals. In 1990 he assisted Bernstein in the creation of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, serving as resident conductor for the Festival Orchestra.

Eiji Oue is Conductor Laureate of the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, having served as Music Director from 2003-2011, and Conductor Laureate of the NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Hannover, following eleven years as their Principal Conductor (1998-2009). He has also held the positions of Music Director of both the Minnesota Orchestra (1995-2002) and the Orquesta Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (Barcelona Symphony Orchestra) (2006-2010). Alongside these posts, he served as Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming from 1997 to 2003, and was the driving force behind founding one of the Festival’s most beloved events, the annual outdoor Fourth of July community concert. In addition to his directorship of this festival, his summer engagements in the US have included appearances at the Ravinia, Tanglewood, Grand Park, Wolf Trap, Round Top and Midland music festivals.

Eiji Oue has guest conducted throughout the United States, working with the most prestigious orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Detroit, St. Louis, Montreal and Toronto. In Europe he has conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the symphony orchestra of the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, the Oslo Philharmonic, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, National Orchestra of Spain, Swedish Radio Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, and the orchestras of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and WDR Cologne. In 2005 he made his debut at the Bayreuth Festival conducting Tristan und Isolde.…

Eiji Oue Reviews:

“This may be some of the best sound Keith Johnson has ever gotten out of Symphony Hall in Minneapolis, and certainly Oue’s most convincing work with the Minnesota players, who sound for all the world more like the Philadelphia than that orchestra does these days … how Johnson got that huge climax at the end of the Dances cleanly onto tape transcends engineering and goes into the realm of magic.” —Harry Pearson, TAS

“Other versions I know … lack the energy, excitement, the involvement and conviction of Eiji Oue’s performance.” —Russell Lichter, Soundstage.com

“The playing by the Minnesota Orchestra is simply stupendous: tremendously unified ensemble, immaculate balances that let you hear all the important lines, and a palpable sense of enjoyment from the players (those trumpet players rule!).” —Victor Carr, Jr., ClassicsToday.com

“triumphs of artistry — musical and technical.” —InTune

“Oue’s performances are shapely, tasteful, beautifully played, with a judicious balance of drama and restraint. The recorded sound is nothing short of awesome; you might want to obtain this CD just as an audio experience” –Peter Aczel, THE AUDIO CRITIC

“Eiji Oue is far more satisfying to my ears than Michael Tilson Thomas [in Copland’s music]. The Minnesota Orchestra’s tone isn’t perhaps as glossy as the San Franciscans’, but they and their conductor are more emotionally in tune with the music. The Third Symphony is first-rate in every way. This orchestra made the first recording of the Third with Atal Dorati for Mercury in 1953, and the piece still seems to be in the players’ bones. A major Copland release” —Sedgwick Clark, GRAMOPHONE

“Eiji Oue has been getting great press since he became music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, and this brand new recording gives us an idea why. The crystal-clear audiophile recording allows us to hear all of Mahler’s colors. Jon Villars sounds as if he’s at the start of a fine tenorial career. But the true find here is Michelle DeYoung, who sings with a warmth and communication reminiscent of Christa Ludwig. This is a wonderful set, performed with intelligence and feeling, and it should rise to the top of any list of superb Das Lieds.” —Robert Levine