Although he has a solid reputation as a conductor of the standard repertory, Matthias Bamert is best known for his work on behalf of new music, obscure 18th century music, and neglected music from all eras (especially in a long series of recordings for Chandos). He is also known for his participation in provocative classical music videos directed by Adrian Marthaler. Bamert studied music in his native Switzerland, as well as in Darmstadt and Paris, falling in with the likes of Boulez and Stockhausen; these associations can be detected in his own compositions from the 1970s. He spent from 1965 to 1969 as principal oboist with the Salzburg Mozart Orchestra, but then switched to conducting. He assisted Stokowski at the American Symphony Orchestra in 1970 and 1971, then joined the Cleveland Orchestra's conducting staff. He was music director of the Swiss Radio Orchestra (1977-1983), then began making a wider reputation across Europe. He was principal guest conductor of the Scottish National Orchestra from 1985 to 1990. Bamert served as artistic director of the Lucerne Festival (1992-1998) (where he made inroads in thematic programming) and of the London Mozart Players (1993-2000). In 2000, he became principal guest conductor of the New Zealand Symphony. Bamert is known to be a quick study, able to master new scores in very little time, and bring off highly effective premieres in concert and on CD. His most notable recordings include symphonies of Gossec, concert music by Korngold, the orchestral works of Martin, and a series devoted to Stokowski arrangements.
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