Eiji Oue Named Barcelona Symphony's Music Director

Classic Arts News   Eiji Oue Named Barcelona Symphony's Music Director
Conductor Eiji Oue, the former music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, will replace Ernest Mart‹nez Izquierdo as music director of the Orquestra Simf‹nica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC).

Oue was introduced at a press conference in Barcelona yesterday. According to the newspaper El Pa‹s, he expressed his determination to turn the orchestra into an internationally acclaimed ensemble.

Oue has signed a four-year contract starting in 2006, his manager told PlaybillArts.

Mart‹nez was unpopular with the musicians of the OCB even before his tenure began: two-thirds of the players voted to reject his candidacy. This year, the city of Barcelona offered to renew his contract, which expires in 2006, against strong opposition from musicians, but he eventually declined to return.

Born in Japan, Oue studied with conductor Hideo Saito. In 1978, Seiji Ozawa, a former student of Saito's, invited Oue to study at Tanglewood, where he became a prot_g_ of Leonard Bernstein.

Oue was music director of the Erie Philharmonic from 1991 to 1995 and of the Minnesota Orchestra from 1995 to 2002. He currently serves as principal conductor of the NDR Symphony Hanover and the Osaka Philharmonic. In July, he became the first Asian person to conduct at the Bayreuth Festival, leading a new production of Tristan und Isolde.

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