Lawrence Foster (born October 23, 1941, in Los Angeles, California) is an American conductor of Romanian ancestry. He is currently the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Foster became the conductor of the San Francisco Ballet at the age of 18, and served as Assistant Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. He has held music directorships with the Houston Symphony, the Ojai Music Festival, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya in Spain.
In 1990, Foster was appointed Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School.
From 2002 to 2013, Foster was the Music Director of the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon, Portugal. He also served as Music Director of the Orchestre National de Montpellier and the Opéra National de Montpellier from 2009 to 2012. In February 2012, Foster was announced as the next music director of l'Opéra de Marseille and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille. As of 2019 Foster is the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR).
Foster is particularly noted as an interpreter of the works of George Enescu, and has made a comprehensive survey of commercial recordings of Enescu's music. In 2003, he was decorated by the Romanian President for services to Romanian Music.
Foster has recorded a number of discs for PENTATONE, including Gordon Getty's opera Usher House, Schumann's symphonies, orchestral works by Kodály, Bartók and Ligeti, and piano and violin concertos by Bruch, Korngold, Rachmaninov, Grieg and Chopin, with various soloists.