Edward Cumming


Edward Cumming

Edward Cumming celebrates his sixth season as the ninth Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in 2007-2008. Premieres with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra include the October 2004 New England premiere of Roberto Sierra's Concerto for Saxophones, the January 2005 HSO-commissioned world premiere of Valerie Coleman's The Painted Lady, the March 2005 world premiere of Richard Cumming's Aspects of Hippolytus and the November 2005 HSO-commissioned world premiere of Michael Gatonska's Wandering the Moon Nursery. Highlights of the 2006-07 season included the world premiere of Stephen Michael Gryc's Passagi, Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra and local premieres of Shaker Loops by John Adams; the Cello Concerto by Stephen Albert; Majestic Whispers by Geoff Knorr; Pavane for 18 Strings by Yevgeniy Sharlat; Funeral Music for Queen Mary (after Purcell) by Steven Stucky; and Folk Song, Set #10 by Reza Vali. Mr. Cumming was the recipient of the 2003 and 2006 ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music.

Mr. Cumming was appointed Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1997. In that role, he worked closely with Music Director Mariss Jansons, accompanying the orchestra on tour and collaborating on its syndicated radio broadcasts.

As founding Music Director (1993-96) of the Pacific Symphony Institute, Mr. Cumming gave world premieres of Hector Armienta's Caras del Sol and Khoa Van Le's Symphonic Ode to Vietnam, 1975.

As Resident Conductor of the Florida Orchestra from 1989 to 1993, Mr. Cumming garnered audience and critical acclaim for his "Champagne" and "Coffee" concerts, two series of light classics for young adults and senior citizens. In 1991, Mr. Cumming conducted a recording of the Star Spangled Banner with Whitney Houston and the Florida Orchestra for Super Bowl XXV. In 1996, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts, and in 1997, he was appointed Music Director of the nationally acclaimed Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, one of five orchestras invited to the National Youth Orchestra Festival in 1998. He returned with the PYSO to perform at this biennial event in 2002.

As a guest conductor, Mr. Cumming has led many prominent orchestras across the United States, among them the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Maryland Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, and Memphis Symphony Orchestra. His credits abroad include La Orquesta Ciudad de Granada (Spain), the South Bohemian State Orchestra in the Czech Republic, the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he made his United Kingdom debut in 2000, and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Cumming received Master of Musical Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in orchestral conducting from Yale University, where he was a student of Otto-Werner Mueller. He studied with Michael Tilson Thomas at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, and has performed in master classes directed by Riccardo Muti, Pierre Boulez, and the late Maurice Abravanel. As an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley, he was awarded the prestigious Eisner Prize for Creative Achievement in the Arts.

Articles by Edward Cumming:

The Relationship of the Music Director and the Marketing Director: Designing a Symphony Season
May 21, 2019