Meet Eckart Preu
Eckart Preu is the 2018-19 music director designate of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and will begin the 2019-20 season as music director. Eckart Preu is the outgoing music director of the Spokane Symphony (WA), the music director of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra (CA) and music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.
Previously, he held the positions of music director of the Stamford Symphony (CT), associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony (VA), resident conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra. In Europe, Preu served as music director of the Orchestre International de Paris.
Career highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Sorbonne in Paris, a live broadcast with the Jerusalem Symphony, and his first commercial recording of the world premiere of “Letters from Lincoln” – a work commissioned by the Spokane Symphony from Michael Daugherty, featuring baritone soloist Thomas Hampson. He has collaborated with internationally-renowned soloists including Sarah Chang, Anne Akiko Meyers, Jean-Phillipe Collard, Vladimir Feltsman, Horacio Gutierrez, Leila Josefowicz, Louis Lortie, and Richard Stoltzman.
In addition, Preu has conducted the Jerusalem Symphony (Israel), Symphony Orchestra of Chile, Auckland Philharmonia (New Zealand), Radio Philharmonic of Slovenia, Pecs Philharmonic (Hungary), Varna Philharmonic (Bulgaria), and in Germany with the Jenaer Philharmoniker. Preu was a PSO guest conductor in the 2010-11 season.
A native of Germany, Preu came to the United States as the winner of the National Conducting Competition of the German Academic Exchange Service (1996) for graduate studies with Harold Farberman at the Hartt School of Music, where he also received the Karl Boehm Scholarship. In Germany, he earned a masters degree in conducting from the Hochschule für Musik in Weimar studying under Gunter Kahlert and Nicolas Pasquet. He also studied under Jean-Sebastien Bereau at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in France. Preu’s education was made possible by scholarships from the Herbert von Karajan Foundation, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the French Ministry of Culture. In November 1998, Preu took third place at the International Competition for Young Conductors of the European Union in Spoleto, Italy. Preu currently resides in Spokane, WA with his wife and two daughters.