De Waart began his career as an Assistant Conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic, before returning to his native Netherlands where he was appointed Assistant Conductor to Bernard Haitink at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1973, de Waart was appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, a post he held until 1979.
De Waart holds a number of current guest conductor roles, including appearances with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to his existing posts, de Waart was previously Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony orchestras. He was also Chief Conductor of De Nederlandse Opera.
As an opera conductor, de Waart has enjoyed success in a large and varied repertoire in many of the world’s greatest opera houses. He has conducted at Bayreuth, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opéra de Bastille, Santa Fe Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera. He incorporates semi-staged and concert opera performances into the programming of his own orchestras, and he regularly conducts opera with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam matinee series. In addition, de Waart’s extensive catalogue encompasses releases for Philips, Virgin, EMI, Telarc and RCA.
Edo de Waart has received a number of awards for his musical achievements, including becoming a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion and an Honorary Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.