Gary Thor Wedow



Gary Thor Wedow



Conductor Gary Thor Wedow has established an enviable reputation for dramatically exciting and historically informed performances with opera companies, orchestras, festivals, and choral organizations throughout North America. In December of 2012, he debuted with the New York Philharmonic conducting Messiah, an occasion noted in the New York Times for ‘a fleet, lithe orchestral performance, aptly complemented by the buoyant singing of the chorus’. Opera News has hailed him for his ‘hot music making’ and ‘convincingly elegant period style’.

Maestro Wedow’s 2016-2017 season includes his debut with San Diego Opera conducting Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Lucia di Lammermoor for Utah Opera, Rodelinda for The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, The Magic Flute for Madison Opera and a special collaboration between The Juilliard School and the Westminster Choir College for a Mozart concert at Alice Tully Hall on Valentine’s Day. Handel’s Messiah is on his schedule for return engagements with Portland Baroque and the Santa Fe Symphony. His busy 2015-16 season included return engagements to Seattle Opera and Utah Opera for Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni for Lyric Opera of Kansas City, La Calisto for Carnegie Mellon University, Orphée for Des Moines Metro Opera, The Dvorak Requiem for Berkshire Choral International and Handel and Rameau Suites with the Alabama Symphony.

A favorite with Seattle Opera audiences, Wedow has also been a frequent guest of Florida Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, Portland Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Berkshire Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Saratoga, Arizona Opera, Amherst Early Music Festival and Pittsburgh Opera among others. He was for many years associated with New York City Opera, leading the New York premiere of Telemann’s Orpheus, the groundbreaking Christopher Alden productions of Don Giovanni and Stephen Wadsworth’s Serse.

Choral masterpieces and symphonic repertoire have taken him to the podiums of the Seattle Symphony, New York’s St Thomas Church, Edmonton Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Berkshire Choral International in Massachusetts and in Salzburg, and Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society where he was, for many years, Associate Conductor.

Born in La Porte, Indiana and now a resident of New York City, he has been a member of the Juilliard School faculty since 1994 and has led performances there of L’incoronazione di Poppea, La finta giardiniera, Ariodante and Don Giovanni. Of particular note was the tour of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Juilliard 415 Historical Performance Ensemble that culminated at Alice Tully Hall ‘in a performance that caught fire and magic’ according to the New York Times. His continued championship of young musicians and singers is further exemplified by his projects at Wolf Trap Opera, the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. A musical scholar as well as conductor, he has prepared several performing editions of baroque works in collaboration with gambist Lawrence Lipnik.  Mr. Wedow studied piano with virtuoso Jorge Bolet at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University and received his Masters of Music degree at the New England Conservatory.

September 2016


Barber Vanessa
Bizet Carmen
Cavalli La Calisto
Cavalieri Rappresentatione Di Anima Et Di Corpo
Donizetti Don Pasquale
Lucia Di Lammermoor
Felsenfeld Summer and All It Brings (World Premiere)
Gay The Beggar’s Opera
Gounod Roméo et Juliette
Handel Alcina
Giulio Cesare
Acis And Galatea
Haydn La Fedelta Premiata
Kalman Countess Maritza
Kulesha Red Emma (World Premiere)
Lehar Merry Widow
Massenet Cherubin
Monteverdi L’incoronazione Di Poppea
Moore The Ballad of Baby Doe
Mozart Cosi fan tutte
Don Giovanni
Le Nozze Di Figaro
Die Zauberlöte
Poulenc Dialogues des Carmélites
Les Mamelles de Tiresias
La voix humaine
Puccini La bohème
La fanciulla del West
Suor Angelica
Il barbiere di Siviglia
Giulio Cesare in Egitto
Smetana The Bartered Bride
Strauss, J. Die Fledermaus
Strauss, R. Feuersnot
Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress
Sullivan H.M.S. Pinafore
The Mikado
Trial by Jury
Verdi La Traviata



Bach Mass in B minor
Johannes Passion
Matthäus Passion
Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem
Liebeslieder Walzer
Handel Coronation Anthems
Haydn Die Jahreszeiten
Die Schöpfung
Mozart Krönungsmesse
Mass in C minor
Solemn Vespers K.V. 339

“There’s one fairy tale I’d love to experience, but alas, they rarely come true in real life. Such was the case Saturday evening when San Diego Opera opened its season with Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” (billed as “Cinderella”). Its cast was strong overall, and under Gary Thor Wedow’s baton, the orchestra cheerfully sparkled with the best performance of this score in the company’s history.” [San Diego Opera, La Cenerentola]  
San Diego Union-Tribune, Christian Hertzog

“Guest conductor Gary Thor Wedow drew crisp, stylish support from the orchestra. The brass sections proved unusually agile in dense sections that revealed how inventive Rossini’s orchestration could be—especially since he finished the entire opera in a mere three weeks.” [San Diego Opera, La Cenerentola] San Diego Story, Ken Herman

“In the pit, Maestro Gary Thor Wedow infused the musical reading with passion and immediacy. Performances of this genre can sometimes become precious, reverential, or worse, irrelevant. But Mr. Wedow encouraged a rendition full of buoyant freshness and dramatic vitality. His instrumentalists responded with equal doses of plangency and panache.” [Des Moines Metro Opera, Orphée]  

Opera Today, James Sohre

“Conducting without a baton, Wedow led the Utah Symphony — fresh off its triumphant appearance in Carnegie Hall — in a magnificent performance of Mozart’s glorious score. Whether nimbly illuminating the comedic hijinks or tenderly comforting Heaston in her gorgeous performance of the aria “Dove sono,” the orchestra was always on point.”  [Utah Opera, Marriage of Figaro]  
Salt Lake Tribune, Catherine Reese Newton

“Another big plus came from Gary Thor Wedow’s alert, vividly shaped conducting. From the Overture he set a tone for sprightly, flexible tempi that were vividly in sync with Lang’s stage sensibility. Wedow allowed us to revel in the variety of Mozart’s score, from lightning flashes of wit to Sturm und Drang fulminations.” [Seattle Opera, Marriage of Figaro] Bachtrack, Thomas May

“Conductor Gary Thor Wedow, whose previous work at Seattle Opera has always been both energetic and stylish, returned to deliver a well-paced, brilliantly played show.” [Seattle Opera, Marriage of Figaro] Seattle Times, Melinda Bargreen

“Wedow’s well-defined phrases, accents and dynamic contrasts were solidly executed, the strings in particular displaying vigor and precision.” [Alabama Symphony, various] Arts Birmingham, Michael Huebner

“First, you start with a world-class conductor. Gary Thor Wedow, a Seattle Opera favorite, fills that bill nicely…. Against the beautiful backgrounds, and with Wedow’s impassioned and adroitly paced conducting, the principal and supporting singers had every opportunity to shine.” [Seattle Opera, Semele] Seattle Times, Melinda Bargreen

“Conductor Gary Thor Wedow, presiding at the fortepiano (to excellent advantage during dialogue/recitative passages), was both stylish and perfectly attuned to his singers.” [Seattle Opera, Don Giovanni] Seattle Times, Melinda Bargreen

“Messiah rings out with Gary Thor Wedow at the helm. This year’s Seattle Symphony ‘Messiah’ production is a first: a performance that has a strongly operatic underpinning, yet some of the most unified and convincing baroque-style bowing the Seattle Symphony strings have ever mustered. …an evident master of the ‘Messiah’ score, put a persuasive and powerful stamp on the Handel classic. Wedow conducted the recitatives and arias mostly from the harpsichord, where he is a master stylist in achieving just the right fluid interconnections.”
The Seattle Times – Melinda Bargreen

“The orchestra percolated steadily, conducted by conductor Gary Thor Wedow, whose abundant rhythmic snap and lyrical sensitivity put the finishing touch on an exhilarating production.” [Il Viaggio a Reims, Wolf Trap Opera]Opera News – Tim Smith

“Conductor Gary Thor Wedow does a great job with the responsive orchestra, not only in the spiky, fast-moving Poulenc score but also in the lush sonorities of Puccini’s Suor Angelica.”
The Seattle Times – Melinda Bargreen

“Gary Thor Wedow led a convincingly paced and sumptuously played account of the two composers’ widely differing scores.” [L voix humaine/Suor Angelica] 
Seen and Heard International – Bernard Jacobson

“Conductor Gary Thor Wedow does a fine job of shaping the flow and keeping the expressive and tonal music from overwhelming the singer.”
CityArts – Philippa Kiraly

“Gary Thor Wedow, making his debut with the Philharmonic on Tuesday evening at Avery Fisher Hall, brought substantial experience leading historically informed performances to this excellent “Messiah.” …. From the crisp, energetic overture, Mr. Wedow led a fleet, lithe orchestral performance, aptly complemented by the buoyant singing of the chorus.” [New York Philharmonic Messiah] 
The New York Times – Vivien Schweitzer

“…buoyant, propulsive tempos, neat contrasts and nice clangy textures with a reduced orchestra. He coaxed remarkably nimble, ultimately forceful contributions from the New York Choral Artists. He encouraged his soloists, and chorus too, to execute elaborate linear embellishments that made dramatic as well as ornamental sense. …He enforced contrapuntal discourse without distortion, and turned lavish cadenzas into climactic explorations.” [New York Philharmonic Messiah] 
Financial Times – Martin Bernheimer

“…if you wanted to cite a single major performance to illustrate (virtually throughout its considerable length) the lofty level New York early-musickers — even the students among them — can now achieve, you could hardly find a better example than the Juilliard School presentation of Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” at Alice Tully Hall on Monday evening. Gary Thor Wedow conducted Juilliard415, the orchestra representing the school’s historical performance program; Mr. Wedow showed total command of the work and paced the performance judiciously in a performance that caught fire and magic.
New York Times, James Oestreich

“Rinaldo is a grand entertainment…First and foremost, the company has put Portland Baroque Orchestra in the pit, and under the brisk direction of Gary Thor Wedow, who has extensive experience in early opera, Handel’s music was vivid and buoyant.”
Oregon Live – Brent Wojahn

“Wedow’s leadership was impressive and intelligent throughout the evening, allowing a deliberately small-scale performance to fill a vast hall comfortably.”
Opera News, F. Paul Driscoll

“The talented Baroque specialist Gary Thor Wedow presided over a nineteen-piece orchestra that sounded both warm and crisp in the somewhat dry acoustic, and continuo players (who included Wedow on the harpsichord-like virginals) had constant contact with the stage. Wedow’s tempos and sense of style were perfect. [Telemann’s Orpheus]Opera News – Judith Malafronte

“Gary Thor Wedow conducted the Juilliard Orchestra in a polished and vibrant reading of the score.”
New York Times – Vivien Schweitzer

“Conductor Gary Thor Wedow led the orchestra in a vibrant and incisive performance, and the continuo accompaniment was impeccable, providing a solid musical underpinning to the proceedings while amplifying the emotional content of each scene.”
Opera News – Kalen Ratzlaff

“The conductor Gary Thor Wedow meets the challenge of Mozart’s jocular drama with orchestral colors that are sometimes dark, sometimes laughing, and ultimately transcendent.”
The New Yorker

“Conductor Gary Thor Wedow led a vibrant performance.”
Wall Street Journal – Heidi Waleson

“Gary Thor Wedow’s conducting was superlative. Under his baton the orchestra sounded crisp and precise. I especially appreciated Maestro Wedow’s effort to show that Mozart was after all a son of his own time, and his operas were subjected to the same performance practices of the period. Thus, the conductor allowed the use of appoggiaturas and tasteful variations in the da capos of the arias.” [Don Giovanni, New York City Opera]Brief Encounter – Ercole Farnese

“Wedow’s early-music-style of conducting swept the cobwebs from the score right from the beginning of the overture. Unexpected accents and rather spare textures exposed hidden vitality and enlivened the sometimes ponderous moments that arose from too many years of German Romanticism applied by conductors of old. Brisk tempi never seemed rushed, and orchestral balances opened up the sound and never came close to swamping the singers. Especially exciting were the choral moments of the second half.
Seattle Gay News – Rod Parke

“This was hot music-making, aided every step of the way by conductor Gary Thor Wedow, who maintained a telling pulse even as he allowed for exquisite, unhurried molding of the most lyrical passages.”
The Baltimore Sun – Tim Smith

“The musical performance was buoyed by conductor Gary Thor Wedow. Wedow’s mastery of the score was evident everywhere; his unflappable presence was the rock on which this Cesare was built; with convincingly elegant period style playing from the Florida Grand Orchestra.”
Opera News – Robert Carreras

“Sometimes conductors can get so wound up in the details of authentic baroque performance practice that they forget to make sure the audience is having a good time. That’s why a conductor like Gary Thor Wedow is a breath of fresh air on the Seattle Symphony’s Basically Baroque series. Wedow certainly doesn’t neglect the baroque conventions; but he also let the spirit of the music shine through, especially in the evening’s finale, Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Suite from “Dardanus”.
Seattle Times – Melinda Bargreen

“The opera was delightfully played by a first-rate chamber orchestra under the direction of Gary Thor Wedow. Years in opera houses have taught him how to make this music theatrical – and how to accommodate singers while challenging them. His work was knowledgeable, vital and full of the smell of candlelight and greasepaint.”
Boston Globe – Richard Dyer

“Cast, orchestra, staging all shine…Fortunately, this production has a charmed cast of brilliant singing actors; a beautifully sensitive orchestra under the direction of Gary Thor Wedow; and emotionally
intelligent staging by Stephen Wadsworth….The tumultuous ovation that greeted the final curtain made the listeners’ thumbs-up very clear.”
Seattle Times – Melinda Bargreen

“…with intelligence and passion and expansiveness, led by Gary Thor Wedow in the pit…Wedow was on such sure ground he was able to keep a foothold in the subtle shiftings of Gluck’s complex score. The orchestra possessed textural clarity, welcome impetus and a handsome sound.”
Seattle Post Intelligencer – R.M Campbell

“Wedow maintained a spirited pace and a unity of purpose among these divergent elements.”
Berkshire Eagle – John Felton

“Gary Thor Wedow, led this section sensitively, as he did the rest of the score and the City Opera Orchestra brought the music across with practical ease.”
New York Times – Jeremy Eichler

“Gary Thor Wedow led Sullivan’s score superbly.” (New York City Opera, PATIENCE)
F. Paul Driscoll

“Conductor Gary Thor Wedow was the unifying force and led from the harpsichord with pace and dramatic acuity.”
Tribune – Mark Kanny

“Conductor Gary Thor Wedow presided deftly over a crackerjack ensemble…managed to create more textural variety than might have seemed possible.”
San Francisco Chronicle – Joshua Kosman

“…with Gary Thor Wedow conducting with a fine sense of Baroque grandeur and zestiness.”
The New York Times – Allan Kozinn

“Gary Wedow led his ensemble of seven players and eight singers in a performance of near seamless aural beauty.” (GIASONE)
The Globe and Mail – Urjo Kureda

“Conductor Gary Thor Wedow (also making his company debut) led the Berkshire Opera orchestra, situated on stage behind the singers. He paced the succession of recitatives and arias perfectly and indulged the dance-like inflection of the music’s phrasing to good effect.” (RINALDO)
Clifton J. Noble Jr.

“…beguilingly moulded instrumentally by a ten-player ensemble conducted by Gary Thor Wedow.”
Canadian Opera Company – (GUILIO CESARE IN EGITTO)
The Globe and Mail – Urjo Kareda

“Under Gary Thor Wedow’s expert direction…convincingly assimilated the proper style of baroque singing.” Canadian Opera Company – (GIULIO CESARE IN EGITTO)
National Post – Tamara Bernstein

“Fine Conducting, Imaginative Realization…Gary Thor Wedow deserves tremendous credit both for his work with the singers and for his fine realization of the score, which includes an absorbing (intentionally anachronistic) array of percussion and some additional choral participation in places such as Calisto’s echo aria.”
Michael Zwiebach

After a busy summer conducting Opera Galas and at summer festivals Gary Thor Wedow starts his 2016-17 season with San Diego Opera conducting their production of La Cenerentola.

Gary Thor Wedow conducts Opera in the Park for Madison Opera. It’s opera under the stars in Garner Park on July 23 in Madison, WI.

Gary Thor Wedow conducts Messiah with the New York Philharmonic.