School of Music Welcomes Professor William Eddins
The School of Music is thrilled to announce the appointment of William Eddins as Visiting Director of Orchestras and Conductor of the UI Symphony Orchestra for the 2021-2022 academic year. In addition to conducting the UI Symphony Orchestra, Professor Eddins will be teaching graduate conducting courses. He will also participate in a new, year-long faculty and graduate student workshop that will explore innovative ideas for the programming of large ensembles, including orchestras, choruses, and bands. Professor Eddins’ appointment is subject to the approval of the university’s Board of Trustees.
Professor Eddins began his conducting career as an apprentice conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the tutelage of Daniel Barenboim. He has since served as a guest conductor for nearly every major orchestra, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Staatskapelle, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, and the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, as well as the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Boston, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Houston.
He served as Resident Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1997 to 2003, and Music Director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra from 2005 to 2017. He regularly conducts the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with soloist Wynton Marsalis, and he has collaborated with such renowned artists as Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell, Jon Kimura Parker, Christopher O’Riley, Alexander Fiterstein, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, Elmar Oliviera, The Kronos Quartet, Richard Stoltzman, and Edgar Meyer.
A native of Buffalo, NY, Professor Eddins attended the Eastman School of Music, studying with David Effron and graduating at age eighteen. He also studied conducting with Daniel Lewis at the University of Southern California and was a founding member of the New World Symphony in Miami, FL. He regularly conducts from the piano in works by Mozart, Beethoven, Gershwin and Ravel. He has released a compact disc recording on his own label that includes Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata and William Albright’s The Nightmare Fantasy Rag.
In addition to his talents as a conductor, he is also a gifted pianist and chamber musician, as well as a savvy entrepreneur. One of his most notable entrepreneurial pursuits was becoming the co-founder of the MetroNOME Brewery LLC, a socially missioned brewery established during the summer of 2020, with the objective of Nurturing Outstanding Music Education in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The proceeds from MetroNOME go to providing musical instruments, lessons, and education for underprivileged youth in the Twin Cities metro area.
Professor Eddins will take the baton from Professor Donald Schleicher, who is retiring from the University of Illinois at the end of this academic year after 26 years of dedicated and outstanding teaching and service.
Welcome, Professor Eddins, to the University of Illinois and to the School of Music!