Peter Oundjian

Music Director

British-Canadian conductor Peter Oundjian embarks on his final Season as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Music Director, a post he has held since 2012. During that time, Oundjian and the RSNO undertook a two-Season celebration to mark the Orchestra’s 125th anniversary; an artistically and critically successful first tour of China; a return to the United States, the first in thirty-five years; and a five-concert visit to Spain. He has conducted the RSNO at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival, including recording the soundtrack for The Harmonium Project which opened the EIF in 2015.

Four recordings featuring Peter Oundjian and the RSNO are currently available on the Chandos label: John Adams’ Doctor Atomic/Harmonielehre; the piano concertos of Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and George Gershwin (with soloist Xiayin Wang); Tchaikovsky and Khachaturian Piano Concertos (also with Xiayin Wang) and a compilation recording celebrating the RSNO’s 125th anniversary.

During this season, there will be two further recordings with Chandos, a first recording with the SONY label; and in May, his final international tour with the Orchestra as Music Director, a European festival tour including the Dresden Festival.

Oundjian has been recognised for his probing musicality, collaborative spirit and engaging personality. Peter continues to champion a broad range of music, including the Romantic repertoire as well as large-scale choral masterpieces and the works of 20th-century American composers. “Oundjian and the RSNO… gave the most searchingly-emotional performance I have ever heard from this team. I was overwhelmed.” The Herald

Peter is also Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, his tenure concluding in 2018, following which he will be promoted to the position of Conductor Emeritus. He has been an instrumental figure in the rebirth of the Canadian ensemble since his appointment as Music Director in 2004. He has created the annual Mozart Festival and the hugely successful New Creations Festival, celebrating the best in contemporary orchestral music, as well as showcasing and premiering commissioned works. In 2008, he launched tsoLIVE with the orchestra, a self-produced label of the orchestra’s live concert recordings.

Few conductors bring such musicianship and engagement to the world’s great podiums – from Berlin, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv; to New York, Chicago and Sydney. He has also appeared at some of the great annual gatherings of music and music lovers: from London’s BBC Proms and the Prague Spring Festival; to the Edinburgh International Festival and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Mozart Festival, where he was Artistic Director from 2003 to 2005.

Peter was Principal Guest Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 2006 to 2010. Since 1981, he has served as a visiting professor at the Yale School of Music and was awarded the University’s Sanford Medal in 2013. In May 2009 he received an honorary doctorate from the San Francisco Conservatory.

Toronto-born, Peter was educated in England and originally trained as a violinist, attending London’s Royal College of Music before studying at the Juilliard School in New York. He was the first violinist of the renowned Tokyo String Quartet, a position he held for 14 years.

Forthcoming Concerts with Peter Oundjian


BBC Proms: Britten – War Requiem (Prom 72)

We bid a fond farewell to Peter Oundjian as he marks his final performance as Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra with a performance of Britten's War Requiem at the BBC Proms in London.

A powerful statement of the composer’s pacifist beliefs – composed in the shadow of the…

Thu 6 Sep 2018, 7.00PM
Royal Albert Hall, London
Box Office: 0845 401 5034

BBC Proms: Britten – War Requiem (Prom 72)

© Royal Scottish National Orchestra 2018