Gary Thor Wedow





Gary Thor Wedow


American Citizen

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. Opera News has hailed him for his “hot music making” and “convincingly elegant period style.” His debut with the New York Philharmonic conducting Messiah was noted in the New York Times for ‘a fleet, lithe orchestral performance, aptly complemented by the buoyant singing of the chorus.’

Maestro Wedow’s busy 2018-2019 season includes return engagements with Opera Philadelphia for Semele and Pittsburgh Opera for Don Pasquale as well as La Calisto at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and Giulio Cesare for the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the latter for the American Handel Society’s Festival and Conference. Future plans call for La Cenerentola at Seattle Opera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Opera Omaha and Il barbiere di Siviglia for Utah Opera

His 2017-2018 season was notable for debuts with the Nashville Symphony for Messiah, Lembit Beecher’s War Stories for Opera Philadelphia and L’incoronazione di Poppea starring Anthony Roth Costanzo for Cincinnati Opera.  He was also in Madison for a concert appearance with Madison Opera, the Manhattan School of Music conducting La Cenerentola, Lucia di Lammermoor for The Jacobs School of Music and Die Fledermaus for Utah Opera.

Recent appearances include his debuts with San Diego Opera conducting Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Orphée for Des Moines Metro Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor for Utah Opera, The Magic Flute for Madison Opera and a special collaboration between The Juilliard School and the Westminster Choir College of Mozart’s Requiem at Alice Tully Hall. Handel’s Messiah is frequently on his schedule with return engagements at Portland Baroque, the Santa Fe Symphony and a special performance at St. Thomas Church that the New York Times called “a war horse of a different, brighter color, with mighty crescendos and exquisite pianissimos, and guilty pleasures.”

A favorite with Seattle Opera audiences, Wedow has also been a frequent guest of Florida Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Arizona Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Portland Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Berkshire Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Saratoga, and the Amherst Early Music Festival 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 Xerxes.

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

Born in LaPorte, Indiana and now a resident of New York City, he has been a member of the Juilliard School faculty since 1994 where he has led performances 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 projects at The Teatro Colón, Wolf Trap Opera, the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and the 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 Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory.

March 2019







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

“[Director Zack] Winokur, conductor Gary Thor Wedow and dramaturge Cori Ellison created a concise performing edition … Wedow’s conducting was flexible, allowing the music time to expand or moving it forward with the drama.” [Cincinnati Opera, The Coronation of Poppea]
Opera News, Joe Law

“Under the leadership of Gary Thor Wedow, members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Early Music ensemble Catacoustic Consort provided a full, enchanting realization of Monteverdi’s music.” [Cincinnati Opera, The Coronation of Poppea]
CityBeat, Anne Arenstein

“Wedow led the Utah Symphony with unerring pacing and balance.”
[Utah Opera, Die Fledermaus]
The Salt Lake Tribune, Catherine Reese Newton

“…the vocal effort was heightened and well partnered by a tight ensemble of period instrumentalists under the smooth direction of Gary Thor Wedow … Maestro Wedow once again provided a luminous reading, ripe with heart and hurt.”
[Opera Philadelphia, War Stories]
Opera Today, James Sohre

“The music sounds remarkable in the space, and the cloister only magnifies the precise and thrilling playing of the stellar ensemble, led by Gary Thor Wedow from the harpsichord. The presentation of such an early opera is an exciting opportunity to reveal the dramatic possibilities of this canon of works.”
[Opera Philadelphia, War Stories]
Schmopera, Erik Flaten

“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

“Gary Thor Wedow leads the Utah Symphony in a light, crisp and nicely nuanced outing. (In a lovely gesture, Wedow had the orchestra take a bow at the end of Saturday’s performance, to hearty applause from the Capitol Theatre crowd.)”
[Utah Opera, Abduction from the Seraglio]
Salt Lake City Tribune, Catherine Reese Newton

“…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. [Juiliard415, St Matthew’s Passion]
New York Times, James Oestreich

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.” [Seattle Symphony, Messiah]
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.”
[La 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 a Avery Fisher Hall, brough substantial experience leading historically informed performances to this excellent Messiah… From the crisp, energetic overture, Mr. Wedow led a feet, lithe orchestral performance, aptly, completed by the buoyant singing of the chorus” [New York Philharmonic, MessiahI]
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

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.”
[Portland Baroque Orchestra, Rinaldo]
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 prefect” [Orpheus]
Opera News, Judith Malafronte

“Gary Thor Wedow cponducting the Juiliard 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

“Gar 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 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.”
[New York City Opera, Don Giovanni]
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

“(Chris) Alexander sensibly left the curtain down almost throughout the overture, of which Wedow led one of the best performances I can remember.” [Seattle Opera, The Magic Flute]
Seen and Heard International, Bernard Jacobson

“This was hot music-making, aided every step of the way by conductor Gary Thor Wedow, who maintained a telling pulse even as ahe 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 everwhere; his unflappable presence was the torkc 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 Symphony, Basically Baroque Concert Series
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

“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]
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.” [Berkshire Opera, Rinaldo]
Clifton J. Noble Jr.

“…beguilingly moulded instrumentally by a ten-player ensemble conducted by Gary Thor Wedow.”
[Canadian Opera Company, Giulio Cesare]
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]
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



Gary returns to Pittsburgh Opera to conduct Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, April 27, 30 and May 3, 5, 2019.

Gary joins the Boston Lyric Opera in Handel’s Giulio Cesare from May 8 through 17, 2020.


With the Pittsburgh Opera, Gary Thor Wedow conducts Don Pasquale in spring 2019. Performances are from April 26 through May 5, 2019.

Gary joins Indiana University—Jacobs School of Music’s Opera and Ballet Theater for Giulio Cesare. Performances are from February 1 through 9, 2019.

Gary Thor Wedow guest-conducts La Calisto at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Performances will be from October 31 through November 4, 2018.

Conductor Gary Thor Wedow celebrates Madison Opera’s summer tradition of “Opera in the Park” concert. Performance on July 21, with rain date set as July 22, 2018.

Gary Thor Wedow conducted The Coronation of Poppea with Cincinnati Opera to “provide a full, enchanting realization of Monteverdi’s Music” (Anne Arenstein, CityBeat) from June 21 to July 1, 2018.  REVIEW

Gary joined Utah Opera for an ebullient production of Die Fledermaus. Performances were from May 12 to 20, 2018.


Overture’ from Handel’s Messiah. Conducted by Gary Thor Wedow.

Gary Thor Wedow conducts Messiah with the New York Philharmonic.