American conductor Lawrence Foster is the Music Director of l'Opéra de Marseille, a position he has held since 2013. Previously, he has been the music director of Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona, Orchestre philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, among others. The Gulbenkian Orchestra, whose music director Lawrence Foster has been for ten years, appointed him Conductor Laureate; he has toured this orchestra across the world, partnering with leading soloists such as Lang Lang, including in Germany, Spain, Brazil as well as major festival destinations.
One of the most sought-after conductors of our time, Mr. Foster has been invited as guest conductor by many of the world's leading orchestras, including the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini of Parma, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and Hong Kong Philharmonic, and has frequently appeared at major festivals including the Lucerne and Grafenegg Festivals. Lawrence Foster holds dear his deep and long-standing musical friendships with other outstanding artists such as Evgeny Kissin, Arcadi Volodos, and Arabella Steinbacher.
In addition to his concert engagements, Lawrence Foster is an accomplished opera conductor and has appeared with major opera companies throughout the world. His opera productions at the Opéra de Marseille have received the widest critical acclaim and his regular guest conducting engagements at Frankfurt Opera, Hamburg State Opera, San Francisco Opera and the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, among others, were often enthusiastically reviewed. Mr. Foster recently conducted a concert version of Hindemith's Mathis der Maler at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest, which had overwhelming success, as did the Traviata he lead at the famous Savonlinna Opera Festival.
Mr. Foster's discography includes a number of highly acclaimed recordings for PENTATONE, notably of violin works with Arabella Steinbacher as well as of Bartok's Two Portraits, Ligeti's Romanian Concerto, Kodaly's Dances of Galanta and Háry Janos Suite, and the Four Symphonies by Robert Schumann with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and Strauss' Zigeunerbaron with NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover. A critically acclaimed recording of Verdi's Otello with the Gulbenkian Orchestra was released in 2017.
Born in 1941 in Los Angeles to Romanian parents, Lawrence Foster has been a major champion of the music of Georg Enescu, serving as Artistic Director of the Georg Enescu Festival from 1998 to 2001. In January 2003 he was decorated by the Romanian President for services to Romanian Music.