Edwins Final Bow

KWS Music Director Edwin Outwater’s Farewell Concert
10 years have gone fast – we’ve got a few highlights

When the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony welcomed Edwin Outwater in 2007, the community had no idea what they were in for: an innovative music director who always looked to the future of music while embracing the past.

In 2009, for example, he participated the YouTube Symphony’s premiere concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City. John Terauds, reviewing for the Toronto Star, wrote, “The extroverted newer piece for percussion and guitar, Lou Harrison’s exotic Canticle No. 3, ably conducted by Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony music director Edwin Outwater, came off the best.” You can catch it here:

Or how about in 2011, when Outwater conducted a concert for the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall, where Professor Daniel “Your Brain on Music” Levitin, of McGill University, would scientifically demonstrate the power of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5? Here’s a talk on that very subject. (It’s only 10 minutes, but bookmark it if you can’t get to it just right now.)

And who can forget watching the Canadian premiere of Singin’ in the Rain, while the KWS performed the music live, in time with the movie, in 2015?

Musical Toronto reported in a 2015 article that the KWS had seen subscriptions increase by 40% and donations by 60% during Outwater’s tenure. In our own interview with Outwater from two years ago, we asked him about his vision for the Symphony. He said it consisted of three things:

to remove the cobwebs that had made the KWS seem old and stuffy,
play with media to find new ways to give the Symphony’s audiences more background to the music they were hearing, and
bring the KWS to people who can’t make it to the KWS.

Several Symphony musicians have shared on the KWS’s website just how much Outwater has meant to them. This remark by Jim Mason, Principal Oboe, sums up Outwater’s contribution beautifully:

“Edwin came to us just in the nick of time. We were floundering and going nowhere, still in a world of strife as an orchestra. He came and led us, both on the podium and off, showing us what we were capable of and making us believe in ourselves. He added life to the organization and the city.”

We at the Centre In The Square wish Edwin Outwater all the best, and we certainly hope to see him back in the future as a guest conductor. Join us on either May 26 or 27 for Outwater’s grand finale: Harmonium by John Adams.