“hot music making” and “convincingly elegant period style.”—Opera News

Known for “performances full of fire and magic,” American conductor Gary Thor Wedow has established a reputation for dramatically exciting and historically informed performances with opera companies, orchestras, festivals, and choral organizations throughout North America. Conductor Gary Thor Wedow has established an enviable reputation for dramatically exciting and historically informed performances with opera companies, orchestras, festivals, and choral organizations throughout North America. Opera News has hailed him for his “hot music making” and “convincingly elegant period style.” His debut with the New York Philharmonic conducting Handel’s Messiah was noted in the New York Times for “a fleet, lithe orchestral performance, aptly complemented by the buoyant singing of the chorus.”

Wedow enjoyed a varied 2023-2024 season. In the fall he returned to Opera Omaha for Don Pasquale, followed by Handel’s Messiah with the Alabama Symphony. He joined Opera Southwest for their Spanish language version of Carmen, and returned to Des Moines Metro Opera for Il barbiere di Siviglia. Last season, Maestro Wedow returned to The Juilliard School to lead their production of Atalanta, and he also brought his expertise to Rice University for their spring production of L’incoronazione di Poppea.

The 2021-2022 season began with performances of Rameau’s Platée in his return to Des Moines Metro Opera, followed by performances of Giulio Cesare with the Atlanta Opera and performances of Handel’s Messiah with The Santa Fe Symphony. He appeared twice during the season with Utah Opera, for rescheduled productions of Il barbiere di Siviglia in the fall and Pirates of Penzance in the spring.

Recent notable engagements include Handel’s Teseo with The Juilliard School, Opera Philadelphia for Semele and Lembit Beecher’s War Stories, Seattle Opera for La Cenerentola, Pittsburgh Opera for Don Pasquale, L’incoronazione di Poppea starring Anthony Roth Costanzo with Cincinnati Opera, his debuts with San Diego Opera conducting Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Orphée for Des Moines Metro Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor and Die Fledermaus with Utah Opera, The Magic Flute for Madison Opera and a special collaboration between The Juilliard School and the Westminster Choir College of Mozart’s Requiem at Alice Tully Hall. ​

A favorite with Seattle Opera audiences, Wedow has also been a frequent guest of Florida Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Arizona Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Portland Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Berkshire Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Saratoga, and the Amherst Early Music Festival, among others. He was for many years associated with New York City Opera, leading the New York premiere of Telemann’s Orpheus, the groundbreaking Christopher Alden productions of Don Giovanni and Stephen Wadsworth’s Xerxes.

Choral masterpieces and symphonic repertoire have taken him to the podiums of the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, The Alabama Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Berkshire Choral International in Massachusetts, New Mexico, California and in Salzburg, and Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society where he was, for many years, Associate Conductor.

Born in LaPorte, Indiana and now a resident of New York City, he has been a member of the Juilliard School faculty since 1994, where he has led performances of L’incoronazione di PoppeaLa finta giardinieraAriodante and Don Giovanni. Of particular note was the tour of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Juilliard 415 Historical Performance Ensemble that culminated at Alice Tully Hall “in a performance that caught fire and magic” according to the New York Times. His continued championship of young musicians and singers is further exemplified by projects at The Teatro Colón, Wolf Trap Opera, the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. A musical scholar as well as a conductor, he has prepared several performing editions of Baroque works in collaboration with gambist Lawrence Lipnik. Maestro Wedow studied piano with virtuoso Jorge Bolet at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University and received his Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory.