Lawrence Foster

Lawrence Foster (born October 23, 1941, in Los Angeles, California) is an American conductor of Romanian ancestry.

Foster became the conductor of the San Francisco Ballet at the age of 18, and served as Assistant Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. He has held music directorships with the Houston Symphony, the Ojai Music Festival, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya in Spain. In late 1989, Foster had been reported as the next Music Director of the Pacific Symphony of Orange County, California. However, in February 1990, the offer was rescinded, and Foster never held this post.[1][2]

In 1990, Foster was appointed Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School.[3]

Since 2002, Foster has been the music director of the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon. He served as music director of the Orchestre National de Montpellier and the Opéra National de Montpellier from 2009 to 2012. In February 2012, Foster was announced as the next music director of l'Opéra de Marseille and the Orchestre philharmonique de Marseille, beginning in September 2012, with an initial contract of 4 years.[4] As of 2019 Foster is the artistic director and first conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR).

Foster is particularly noted as an interpreter of the works of George Enescu, and has made a comprehensive survey of commercial recordings of Enescu's music.[4]

Foster has recorded a number of discs for PENTATONE,[5] including Gordon Getty's opera Usher House, Schumann's symphonies, orchestral works by Kodály, Bartók and Ligeti, and piano and violin concertos by Bruch, Korngold, Rachmaninov, Grieg and Chopin, with various soloists.

Selected discography


  1. Chute, James (February 9, 1990). "Pacific Symphony rescinds offer to hire Monte Carlo conductor". The Orange County Register.
  2. Chris Pasles (1990-02-10). "Pacific Symphony Dropped Offer, Foster Says : Music: Conductor tells of breakdown in negotiations over salary and rehearsal time". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  3. "Aspen Music Festival Appoints New Director". New York Times. 1990-08-17.
  4. "Le chef d'orchestre Lawrence Foster à la tête du Philharmonique de Marseille". L'Express. 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  5. "Lawrence Foster". pentatonemusic. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
Cultural offices
Preceded by
André Previn
Music Director, Houston Symphony
Succeeded by
Sergiu Comissiona
Preceded by
Lovro von Matačić
Music Director, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
Succeeded by
Gianluigi Gelmetti
Preceded by
Armin Jordan
Music Director, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
Succeeded by
Jesús López-Cobos
Preceded by
Gary Bertini
Music Director, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
David Shallon
Preceded by
Jorge Mester
Music Director, Aspen Music Festival and School
Succeeded by
David Zinman
Preceded by
Luis Antonio García Navarro
Music Director, Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya
Succeeded by
Ernest Martínez Izquierdo
Preceded by
Muhai Tang
Principal Conductor, Gulbenkian Orchestra
Succeeded by
Paul McCreesh
Preceded by
Friedemann Layer
Music Director, Orchestre et Opéra National de Montpellier
Succeeded by
Michael Schønwandt
Preceded by
Cyril Diederich
Music Director, Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille
Succeeded by
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