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Hugh Wolff

Hugh Wolff is among the leading conductors of his generation. He has appeared with all the major North American orchestras including those of Chicago, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto. Wolff is much in demand in Europe, where he has worked with such orchestras as the London Symphony, Philharmonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Orchestre National de France, Leipzig Gewandhaus and Israel Philharmonic. He is a regular guest conductor with orchestras in Japan, Scandinavia and Australia and a frequent conductor at festivals including Aspen, Tanglewood and Ravinia.

Wolff began his career in 1979 as Associate Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra under Mstislav Rostropovich later going on to become Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (1986-1993) and Music Director of Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival (1994-1997).

Wolff was Principal Conductor and then Music Director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (1988-2000), with whom he recorded twenty discs and toured the United States, Europe and Japan. Of this partnership, The New York Times wrote: “an effortlessly polished sound... Wolff shapes his interpretations with impeccable taste.”

Wolff was later Principal Conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra (1997-2006). The Sunday Times wrote of their recording of George Antheil’s symphonies: “the Frankfurt Radio SO under Wolff dazzles throughout.” Together they have toured Europe, Japan and China, and appeared at numerous festivals.

Wolff has an extensive discography on the Teldec label with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra. His recordings for Decca include a disc of works by Aaron Jay Kernis (Argo label), and a disc with Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has also recorded with Hilary Hahn for Sony Classical, which along with the disc of Antheil symphonies, won a 2001 Cannes Classical Award.

Born in Paris to American parents, Wolff spent his early years in London and Washington D. C. After graduating from Harvard, Wolff returned on a fellowship to Paris, where he studied conducting with Charles Bruck and composition with Olivier Messiaen. Wolff and his wife have three sons and live in Boston.