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Andrew Constantine

Title: Music Director
Chair Sponsor: Ione Breden Auer Podium
“No two people have the same experience of classical music. Our interpretation draws on personal insights, memories and feelings. The challenge is to persuade more people to go to concerts and discover this for themselves.” – Andrew Constantine.
Now in his first full season as Music Director of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Andrew Constantine brings with him a reputation gained in Europe and the United Kingdom as a conductor of great skill, charisma, energy and versatility. A native of England, he moved to the United States in 2004 to become Assistant Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Constantine has always had a love of Russian conductors, and because Yuri Temirkanov was conductor of the Baltimore Symphony at that time, it was an opportunity he gladly seized. He knew of Temirkanov’s sterling reputation as a guest conductor for the leading orchestras of Europe, Asia and the United States and of his longtime position as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Saint Peterburg Philharmonic in Russia.

Within Constantine’s first season in Baltimore, he was promoted to  Associate Conductor. In May of 2007, following a two-year search, he was appointed Music Director of the Reading Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. And in July 2009, after a similar search by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Constantine was chosen from a field of more than 250 applicants to become The Phil’s new Music Director.

Constantine has won praise for his ability to communicate with audiences, and his energetic and compelling advocacy for classical music has gained him many admirers. But it is his great skill and grace as a conductor that garner the highest admiration. That talent was nurtured under the tutelage of one of Constantine’s mentors, the great Russian conducting teacher Ilya Musin.

After studying cello, starting at age 11, Constantine, at 16, went to a boarding school specializing in music – the Wells Cathedral School in Somerset, England. From there, he studied further at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and later enrolled in the University of Leicester, where he studied conducting and began to perform as a conductor.

After winning the first Donatella Flick/ Accademia Italiana Conducting Competition, Constantine went to Russia’s Leningrad Conservatory for a year of study with the then 90-year-old Musin. A conductor, teacher and theorist of conducting, Musin taught at the Conservatory for six decades, and his book, “The Techniques of Conducting,” has been followed worldwide.

Back in London, Constantine made his Royal Festival Hall debut with the London Philharmonic. Press reviews were unanimous in their praise. The Financial Times wrote: “Definiteness of intention is a great thing, and Constantine’s shaping of the music was never short of it.” The  Independent wrote: “Andrew Constantine showed a capacity Royal Festival Hall audience just what he is made of, ending his big, demanding program with an electrifying performance of Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5.”

Described by Classic FM (the UK’s largest radio station) as “a Rising Star of Classical Music,” Andrew Constantine is regularly engaged by the UK’s leading symphony orchestras, including The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra, and by many others throughout Europe. He was recently awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music by the University of Leicester for his “contribution to music” and also a prestigious British NESTA Fellowship to further develop his international career.

As the Philharmonic’s Music Director, Constantine promises diverse and exciting programming, with musical gems for all generations. As he says: “Life is better because of music.”