Ed Spanjaard

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Ed Spanjaard
Birth name Eduard Philip Spanjaard
Born (1948-12-22) December 22, 1948 (age 68)
Netherlands Haarlem, Netherlands
Genres Classical, Contemporary
Occupation(s) Conductor, Pianist
Instruments Piano, viola
Years active 1975 - present
Associated acts Limburgs Symfonie Orkest
Nieuw Ensemble

Eduard Philip (Ed) Spanjaard (Haarlem, 22 December 1948) is a Dutch conductor and pianist.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Ed Spanjaard’s father was a psychiatrist and amateur pianist,[3] and his mother a flutist and music teacher. Spanjaard studied at the Conservatorium van de Vereniging Muzieklyceum at Amsterdam and afterwards at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. During his studies he was, next to conductor of amateur ensembles like the Leids Studenten Kamer Orkest (LeSKO), assistant of Bernard Haitink, George Solti and Herbert Karajan.


In London he worked as répétiteur of the Royal Opera Covent Garden. In 1978 he conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Mozart's Così fan tutte during the Glyndebourne Festival. In 1980 and 1981 he was assistant-conductor of Herbert Karajan at the Salzburger Festspiele. For the Bayreuther Festspiele in 1983 he was assistant of George Solti in Wagner's Ring des Nibelungen, which laid the foundation for his work in the opera. For several years he was principal guest conductor of the Nederlands Balletorkest and the Limburgs Symfonie Orkest (LSO) (1982–1988), and has directed almost all Dutch orchestras. Since 1982 Spanjaard has been principal conductor of the Nieuw Ensemble, which was awarded the Prins Bernardfonds muziekprijs in 1998. As guest conductor he performed all over the world. The last years Spanjaard worked as conductor in the contemporary and classical repertoire. In the Netherlands he directed Verdi's Rigoletto with the De Nederlandse Opera, Gounod's Faust and Verdi's Don Carlos with the Nationale Reisopera and with the Opera Zuid Puccini's La Bohème and Madame Butterfly as well as Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel. Also with the Residentie Orkest and abroad (Canada) he made several opera productions. In 2000 at the Rotterdam Ahoy he conducted the Nederlands Balletorkest in Verdi's La Traviata and Britten's Peter Grimes with the Nationale Reisopera. He premiered the chamber-operas Wolf Cub Village and Night Banquet from the Chinese composer Guo Wenjing with the New Ensemble. Beginning 2004 he was invited by the opera of Lyon to conduct the opera Pelléas et Mélissande from Claude Debussy.

During a state visit of Queen Beatrix in 1995 he conducted Mahler's Lieder aus Des Knaben Wunderhorn and symphony No. 1 in cooperation with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He regularly performs with the Ensemble InterContemporain in Paris and with the Klangforum Wien. In 2000 he conducted the Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt am Main, with great success which was praised by the press. In February 2002 Spanjaard took care of the musical accompaniment for the wedding of Prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta. She was particularly moved by Adiós Nonino from Ástor Piazzolla with Carel Kraayenhof on bandoneón. The success of the performance led to another CD-recording with the same performers including the Concertgebouw Kamerorkest and the Nederlands Kamerkoor.

Since August 2001 Ed Spanjaard was appointed chief conductor of the Limburgs Symfonie Orkest. Together with the LSO he performed Hans Zender's composed interpretation of Schubert's Winterreise in September 2003 during the Musica Sacra festival in Maastricht. This performance received praise of the national press and was considered the highlight of the festival. Also a CD-recording of the LSO and the Nederlands Kamerkoor with compositions by Gabriel Fauré was greatly valued.

In 2009 Ed Spanjaard conducted Das Rheingold,[4][5] of Wagner's Ring des Nibelungen with the Nationale Reisopera and Orkest van het Oosten in Enschedé where in 2010 he conducted Die Walküre. In July 2016 Ed Spanjaard was appointed chief conductor of Orkest van het Oosten starting from season 2017-2018, following Jan Willem de Vriend.[6]



  • Prins Bernhardfonds muziekprijs 1998
  • Edison 1999
  • Edison 2001


  1. ^ "Ed Spanjaard". William Reinert Associates. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  2. ^ "Ed Spanjaard". Interartists Amsterdam. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Hans Flupsen (2005-10-02). "Het China festival, dirigent Ed Spanjaard, het Rubens kwartet en de taoisten van Shanxi". Vrije geluiden. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  4. ^ Roland de Beer (27 September 2009). "Rheingold klinkt als een klok". De Volkskrant. Retrieved 27 September 2009. 
  5. ^ Henri Drost (28 September 2009). "Wachten op de trein naar het Walhalla". 8weekly.nl. Retrieved 28 September 2009. 
  6. ^ Ed Spanjaard nieuwe dirigent Orkest van het Oosten, Tubantia, 12 juli 2016.

External links[edit]


  • Jozef Robijns, Miep Zijlstra: Algemene muziekencyclopedie, Haarlem: De Haan, (1979)-1984, ISBN 978-90-228-4930-9