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Gary Thor Wedow


“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



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. In December of 2012, he debuted with the New York Philharmonic conducting Messiah, an occasion noted in the New York Times for ‘a fleet, lithe orchestral performance, aptly complemented by the buoyant singing of the chorus’. Hailed by the Baltimore Sun for ‘hot music making’ and ‘convincingly elegant period style’ in Opera News, some of his most recent successes for the Seattle Opera include the double bill of Poulenc’s La voix humaine and Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Gluck’s Orphée and Die Zauberflöte; Il viaggio a Reims for Wolf Trap Opera and Agrippina for Boston Lyric Opera. Maestro Wedow has been closely associated with New York City Opera for many years; most recently he led their Don Giovanni in the Christopher Alden production and in May 2012 conducted the New York premiere of Telemann’s Orpheus. This season, Maestro Wedow conducted The Magic Flute with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the world premiere of Paul Richards and Wendy Steiner’s Biennale at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and later will lead Don Pasquale for Arizona Opera and Abduction from the Seraglio for Utah Opera. Maestro Wedow will also lead the St. Matthew Passion on tour with the Juilliard 415 Historical Performance ensemble in Aiken, South Carolina, Spivey Hall in Morrow, Georgia, culminating in Alice Tully Hall, New York City.

Recently, he was in Wisconsin for Madison Opera’s ‘Opera in the Park’ and conducted the Berkshire Choral Society in Salzburg and Mondsee. Highlights of his 2012-2013 season included La finta giardiniera for the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Xerxes for Indiana University, Rinaldo for Portland Opera with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Die Fledermaus for Virginia Opera, Messiah for the Alabama Symphony and the Seattle Symphony.

Born in La Porte, Indiana and now a resident of New York City, he has been a member of the Juilliard School faculty since 1994 and has led performances there of L’incoronazione di Poppea, La finta giardiniera and Ariodante and most recently, Don Giovanni. He has prepared several performing editions of baroque works in collaboration with countertenor Lawrence Lipnik. His long association with director Stephen Wadsworth has included productions of Handel’s Xerxes, Ariodante and Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride.

Wedow has been a frequent guest of Florida Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, Berkshire Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Amherst Early Music Festival and Pittsburgh Opera among others.  His wide ranging repertoire includes Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, both Sartorio’s and Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le nozze di Figaro, Carmen, Patience, La bohème, The Rake’s Progress, Pirates of Penzance and several world premieres including The Loathly Lady with music by Wendy Steiner, music by Paul Richards.  The choral masterpieces and symphonic repertoire have taken him to the podiums of the Seattle Symphony, Orchestra London – Ontario, Phoenix Symphony, Edmonton Symphony and Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society where he was, for many years, Associate Conductor.  As a pianist, Wedow studied with virtuoso Jorge Bolet.

 January 2014



Full Repertoire


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

Engaged By

Alabama Symphony
Arizona Opera
Austin Lyric Opera
Berkshire Choral Festival
Berkshire Opera
Boston Lyric Opera
Canadian Opera Company
Chautauqua Opera
Edmonton Symphony
Florida Grand Opera
Glimmerglass Opera
Handel & Haydn Society, Boston
Juilliard Opera Center
Madison Opera
Manhattan School of Music
New National Theatre, Tokyo
New York City Opera
New York Philharmonic
Opera in Concert, Toronto
Orchestra London Canada
Portland Opera
Pittsburgh Opera
San Francisco Opera
Seattle Opera
Seattle Symphony
SUNY Purchase Festival
Virginia Opera
Wolf Trap Opera



"Mr. Wedow showed total command of the work and paced the performance judiciously"
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.”
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.” [L 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 at Avery Fisher Hall, brought substantial experience leading historically informed performances to this excellent “Messiah.” …. From the crisp, energetic overture, Mr. Wedow led a fleet, lithe orchestral performance, aptly complemented by the buoyant singing of the chorus.” [New York Philharmonic Messiah]
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.”
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 perfect. [Telemann’s Orpheus]
Opera News – Judith Malafronte

“Gary Thor Wedow conducted the Juilliard 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

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

“This was hot music-making, aided every step of the way by conductor Gary Thor Wedow, who maintained a telling pulse even as he 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 everywhere; his unflappable presence was the rock 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 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

“Wedow maintained a spirited  pace and a unity of purpose among  these divergent elements.”
Berkshire Eagle – John Felton

“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)
F. 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.” (RINALDO)
Clifton J. Noble Jr.

“…beguilingly moulded instrumentally by a ten-player ensemble conducted by Gary Thor Wedow.”
Canadian Opera Company – (GUILIO CESARE IN EGITTO)
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 IN EGITTO)
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