David Robertson
The Lowy Chair of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director

David Robertson

American conductor David Robertson made his Australian debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2003 and soon became a regular visitor to the orchestra, with projects such as The Colour of Time, a conceptual multimedia concert; the Australian premiere of John Adams' Doctor Atomic Symphony; and concert performances of The Flying Dutchman with video projections. He began his five-year tenure as Chief Conductor of the SSO in 2014, and highlights of his inaugural season included a semi-staged presentation of Elektra and a seven-city tour of China.

He is a compelling and passionate communicator whose stimulating programs and music-making have captivated audiences and musicians. He has been Music Director of the St Louis Symphony since the 2005–06 season. Other titled posts have included Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon and resident conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.  A recognised expert in 20th- and 21st-century music, he has also been Music Director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris (where composer and conductor Pierre Boulez was an early supporter) and his discography includes music by such composers as Adams, Bartók, Boulez, Carter, Ginastera, Milhaud and Reich.

David Robertson is a frequent guest with major orchestras and opera houses throughout the word and in recent seasons he has conducted the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, as well as the Berlin Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2014 he conducted the controversial but highly acclaimed Metropolitan Opera premiere of John Adams' Death of Klinghoffer. 

He is a champion of young musicians, and has devoted time to working with students and young artists throughout his career. In addition to creating and leading outreach programs with the Ensemble Intercontemporain and the Orchestre National de Lyon, he has worked with students at Carnegie Hall's Academy, the Paris Conservatoire, the Juilliard School, Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festival.

His awards and accolades include Musical America Conductor of the Year (2000), Columbia University's 2006 Ditson Conductor's Award, and, with the St Louis Symphony, the 2005–06 ASCAP Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming. In 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2011 a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

David Robertson was born in Santa Monica, California and educated at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied French horn and composition before turning to orchestral conducting. He is married to pianist Orli Shaham.

The position of Chief Conductor & Artistic Director is also supported by Principal Partner Emirates