„ [...] the model of a conductor in 2014.“I Care If You Listen Magazine
From producing records in Africa to curating innovative concert series in Melbourne, Copenhagen, Berlin and Helsinki - where he holds the position of Artistic Director of the Musica nova Helsinki festival - while commissioning genre-defying contemporary projects with his musicians’ collective s t a r g a z e, André de Ridder embodies a unique position amongst today’s conductors. He is sought after for his ability to communicate musical statements both on and off the podium. He has formed close artistic relationships with a diverse range of artists such as Kaija Saariaho, Uri Caine, Bryce Dessner, Michel van der Aa, Damon Albarn and bands such as Mouse on Mars, and performs regularly at international festivals, including BBC Proms, Iceland Airwaves Festival and Sydney Festival.
He performs with orchestras such as BBC Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Sydney Symphony, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and New York Philharmonic. The 2015/16 season concluded with de Ridder’s debut with the Concertgebouw Orkest Amsterdam, in a performance with the band Son Lux at Holland Festival. Debuts in the current season will include Ensemble Intercontemporain, Finnish Radio Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Toronto Symphony.
In spring 2016, de Ridder gave the world premiere of Saariaho’s ‘Only the Sound Remains’ at Netherlands Opera, directed by Peter Sellars. He will revive the work at Finnish National Opera in spring 2017. Previous world premieres have included Damon Albarn’s musical theatre works, Donnacha Dennehy’s ‘The Last Hotel’, Gerald Barry’s ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant’, and Michel van der Aa’s ‘The Sunken Garden’, the latter two for English National Opera. He undertook a Monteverdi project with Barrie Kosky at the Komische Oper 2012-2015 and makes his debut at Danish National Opera in summer 2017.
In 2013, de Ridder founded ‘s t a r g a z e’, a think-tank pool of like-minded European musicians. Operating from Berlin, they quickly found a home at the legendary Volksbühne theatre, where they put on their own 3-day festival, 's t a r g a z e presents', performing with artists like Terry Riley, Tyondai Braxton, Nils Frahm, Pantha du Prince and Pekka Kuusisto. They appear regularly at the Barbican Centre and at Ruhrtriennale with Owen Pallett, Sacrum Profanum Festival in Krakow with These New Puritans. In December 2015, they unveiled ‘s t a r g a z e orchestral', again at the Volksbühne. s t a r g a z e begins the current season making their debut at the BBC Proms, in a programme that ‘reinterprets’ the work of David Bowie. They make further debuts this season at Paris Philharmonie and in New York City.
De Ridder's discography includes Max Richter's The Four Seasons Recomposed (DG) and an album of orchestral music by Bryce Dessner and Jonny Greenwood (DG). The Max Richter recording was awarded an ECHO Klassik ‘Classic Without Borders’ award 2013. De Ridder was also credited as producer on the release of "Africa Express Presents: In C Mali", on Transgressive Records. This followed a trip to Bamako, Mali, with Damon Albarn and his Africa Express project. In Mali, de Ridder initiated and led a recording of Riley's ‘In C’ with local musicians, joined by travelling western artists including Brian Eno and Albarn.
André de Ridder was educated in Berlin and subsequently studied at the Music Academies of Vienna and London, under Leopold Hager and Sir Colin Davis.
“On the podium, de Ridder was the conductor with “the score in his head, not his head in the score,” as the saying goes. His understanding of, and passion for, the Bartók was as clear as his easy partnership with the soloist. De Ridder’s resume is unusual, including pop and opera as well as classical credits from around the world (Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Australia).”The Seattle Times, Melinda Bargreen, 14.03.14
“[...] one of the world's most daring conductors [...].”The Wall Street Journal, Peter Tinti, 23.10.13
“André de Ridder, conducting with a click track and using a score that incorporated images from the films, held all of the elements together with impressive precision.”The New York Times, Steve Smith, 16.04.13
“De Ridder really came into his own in Brahms’s swansong symphony, the Fourth. He is an unfussy conductor, measured yet expressive, and showed a real grasp and feel for the scale of the work across the four movements. The orchestra responded splendidly, with notable solo contributions, especially from the horns. The way in which he managed the changes of emphasis in the final movement, with its Bach-inspired variations in the form of a passacaglia with its Baroque structure, showed real mastery. […] The versatile de Ridder is one to watch.”The Arts Desk, Philip Radcliffe, 21.01.13
“Owen Pallett’s ‘Violin Concerto’, which followed, inhabited a strikingly similar place, with textures to which the Britten Sinfonia, under Andre de Ridder’s crisp direction, brought a lovely translucence.”The Independent, Michael Church, 19.03.12
“The performance, with nine solo singers led by Roderick Williams as the Wandering Jew, a quartet of actors and the BBC Singers and Symphony Orchestra under André de Ridder, is first rate; it's a major undertaking that has been realised with great care.”The Guardian, Andrew Clements, 16.06.11
“Anna Clyne's ambitious Rewind, played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conducted by an indefatigable André de Ridder, stays in the memory despite so much competition.”The Observer, Fiona Maddocks, 15.05.11
“But my own favourite was Michael Gordon’s Rewriting Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the conductor André de Ridder smearing a path between recognisable fragments of the masterwork. It was instructive, impish and enjoyable.”The Times, Geoff Brown, 9.05.11
“The BBC Symphony Orchestra under guest conductor André de Ridder, captured the work's beatific detachment to perfection.”theartsdesk.com, 9.05.11
André de Ridder will make his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, conducting... read more
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André de Ridder is today announced as the new Artistic Director of Musica nova Helsinki, the... read more
André de Ridder will make his debut with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, with three separate... read more
On 2nd April, André de Ridder conducts a Finnish premiere in Helsinki. The opera ‘Sublime Émilie’,... read more
Today André de Ridder will conduct a one–off private performance of the African version of Terry... read more