top of page

Lawrence Foster Artist Profile: A Scrupulous Stylist

The MHS Review 371 Vol. 10, No. 11 1986

click on the cover to return to the table of contents

The Financial Times (London)


not yet released.png

Lawrence Foster is Music Director of the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra and Prin­cipal Conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Or­chestra. He also holds the position of General Music Director of the Duisburg Orchestra, Ger­many. Born in Los Angeles in 1941 of Ruma­nian parents, from his early teens he wanted to become a conductor and received guidance and advice from Karl Bohm, Bruno Walter, and Fritz Zweig. His professional debut at the age of 18 took place with a newly formed orchestra of young graduate musicians in Los Angeles; for the next three years he was its Music Director, building up a regular concert series. At this time he also became conductor of the San Francisco Ballet, a post he held until 1965 and which took him on three national tours, in­cluding New York seasons with Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev.

From 1965 to 1968 he was Assistant Con­ductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Or­chestra with Zubin Mehta. In the fall of 1968 he made highly praised debuts with both the Halle and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, and in January 1969 became Chief Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the youngest conductors to hold such an important position with a major London orchestra. During his term as Chief Conductor he led the orchestra on two American tours.

Foster remained with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra until 1974, when he was appointed Music Director of the Houston Symphony in succession to Sir John Barbirolli and Andre Previn. He remained with the Houston Sym­phony until 1978, at which time he accepted his current position In Monte Carlo.

Foster guest conducts many of Europe's leading orchestras, including the Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Israel, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm, Vienna, and Zurich, as well as all the London orchestras and the major symphony orchestras of the United States. He has been conducting an increasing number of operas in America and Europe, at venues such as Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, Hamburg, Houston, the Dusseldorf Opera, and the Paris Opera. Recent opera highlights include a new production of Wozzeck with the Houston Grand Opera in 1982 and Love for Three Oranges at the Paris Opera Comique in 1983. This year, he returns to Houston for Madama Butterfly, Covent Garden for Rossini's La donna def Iago, and Berlin for Wozzeck.

bottom of page