The English conductor Edward Gardner was born in Gloucester in 1974 and sang as a chorister at Gloucester Cathedral. As a youth, he played piano, clarinet and organ. He had begun choral conducting at Eton, and continued conducting at Cambridge.
From 1997 until 2002, Edward Gardner was Musical Director of Wokingham Choral Society, a post previously held by Graeme Jenkins, Paul Daniel, and Stephen Layton. In 1999, whilst still a student at the Royal Academy of Music, Gardner became a repetiteur at the Salzburg Festival at the invitation of Michael Gielen. Gardner subsequently served as an assistant conductor to Mark Elder at the Hallé Orchestra for 3 years, and he was music director of Glyndebourne on Tour from 2003 till 2007.
In September 2010, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra announced the appointment of Gardner as its next Principal Guest Conductor, effective September 2011, with an initial contract of 3 years, for 3-4 weeks of concerts per season. He concluded his term as Principal Guest Conductor of the CBSO in July 2016. Outside of the UK, in February 2013, Edward Gardner was simultaneously named the next Principal Guest Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, effective August 2013, and the orchestra's next Principal Conductor effective with the 2015-2016 season. In January 2017, the orchestra has announced that Gardner's contract will be extended untill 2021.