Maine Voices Live features 1:1 conversations between Portland Press Herald writers and notable Mainers. Audience members can experience a memorable night with a Q&A at the end. 

Eckart Preu is the Music Director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra (CA), and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra (OH). He sits down with arts reporter Bob Keyes to talk about his career.

Eckart Preu was previously the Music Director of the Spokane Symphony (WA) and the Stamford Symphony (CT), Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony (VA), and Resident Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra. Also, Preu served as Music Director of the Orchestre International de Paris.

Career highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Sorbonne in Paris, a live broadcast with the Jerusalem Symphony, and the world premiere of Letters from Lincolnas his first commercial recording – a work commissioned by the Spokane Symphony from Michael Daugherty, featuring baritone soloist Thomas Hampson. He has collaborated with internationally-renowned soloists including Sarah Chang, Anne Akiko Meyers, Jean-Phillipe Collard, Vladimir Feltsman, Horacio Gutiérrez, Leila Josefowicz, Louis Lortie, and Richard Stoltzman.

In addition, Preu has conducted the Jerusalem Symphony (Israel), Symphony Orchestra of Chile, Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogota (Columbia), Orquesta Filarmonica de Jalisco (Mexico), Auckland Philharmonia (New Zealand), and the Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife in Spain.

Preu was a PSO guest conductor in the 2010-11 season.

A native of Germany, Preu came to the United States as the winner of the National Conducting Competition of the German Academic Exchange Service (1996) to study with Harold Farberman at the Hartt School of Music, where he also received the Karl Boehm Scholarship. In Germany, he earned a Master’s degree in conducting from the Hochschule für Musik in Weimar studying under Gunter Kahlert and Nicolás Pasquet. He also studied under Jean-Sébastien Béreau at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in France. Preu’s education was made possible by scholarships from the Herbert von Karajan Foundation, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the French Ministry of Culture. Preu’s early musical training was in piano and voice. At age ten he became a member of the Boys’ choir Dresdner Kreuzchor and went on to work with them as soloist and assistant conductor.

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