Principal Conductor, Metropolitan Opera
General Music Director, Zurich Opera
Manager: Tim Fox, Andrea Anson , Artistic Advisor & Consultant
Management Territory: North America, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, Japan
“Mr. Luisi conducts a stylish, crisp performance of the score, allowing singers ample time to linger over arias, yet keeping things lithe and moving.” "Manon" Metropolitan Opera, The New York Times, March 2012
"It worked... especially with conductor Fabio Luisi giving the score a fleet, frothy energy..." "Manon" Metropolitan Opera, The Wall Street Journal, March 2012
"Fabio Luisi, the Met’s principal guest conductor, led an exciting, insightful and assured performance. Mr. Luisi earned the deep respect of the Met players last spring when he stepped in for James Levine on short notice and conducted crackling accounts of Puccini’s “Tosca” and burnished, beautiful performances of Berg’s “Lulu.” The incisive and responsive playing “Das Rheingold” suggested that good chemistry continues between this conductor and the Met musicians. Mr. Luisi brought his own approach to the work. (He) went for a leaner, though still robust, sound. And rather than stepping in like some dynamo to show off and shake things up, he built excitement here not by pumping up the volume or opting for quick tempos, but by coaxing no-nonsense, vibrant and clean playing from the orchestra. Mr. Luisi came across as a musician in charge of a production happening in the moment, someone always aware of the instincts and needs of the performers, especially the singers." "Das Rheingold" Metropolitan Opera, The New York Times, April 2011
The preeminent Italian conductor Fabio Luisi currently serves as Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony. In addition to his already impressive resume, Luisi takes up an additional new position, as General Music Director of the Zurich Opera, in September 2012.
The 2012-13 season sees Luisi launch his tenure in the new appointment, leading the Zurich Opera’s new, season-opening production of Janácek’s Jenufa, before returning to the Metropolitan Opera to conduct David Alden’s new staging of Un ballo in maschera with Dmitri Hvorostovsky . . . , Dolora Zajick, and Sondra Radvanovsky. Luisi also directs Met revivals of Berlioz’s Les Troyens, starring Deborah Voigt and Susan Graham, and Aida, both of which – like Un ballo – are scheduled for Live in HD transmission.
In his new position at the Zurich Opera, Luisi is embarking upon a special initiative programming and conducting an increasing number of orchestral concert performances with the newly renamed Philharmonia Zürich, which until this season was known as the Orchester der Oper Zürich. Music by Robert Schumann is the centerpiece of this season’s programming, with Luisi conducting three concerts at the Tonhalle Zürich. Repertoire for these concerts includes Schumann’s First and Fourth Symphonies, the composer’s Piano Concerto in A minor, and the epic oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri, which closes out the season’s concert offerings.
Among other upcoming highlights, Luisi undertakes a further three complete cycles of the Met’s “Ring” cycle; a wide-ranging program with the Met Opera Orchestra and pianist Yefim Bronfman at Carnegie Hall; Zurich Opera productions of Tosca, La bohème, Rigoletto, La straniera, and Der Rosenkavalier; Don Carlo at La Scala; and multiple programs – some featuring symphonies by Schubert, Brahms, and Bruckner – at the Vienna Symphony.
In September 2011, Maestro Luisi began his inaugural season as Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, over the course of which he led numerous productions (including six in a single month, an almost unprecedented feat). These included Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung (the four operas of Robert Lepage’s visionary new “Ring” cycle, headlined by Bryn Terfel, Stephanie Blythe, Deborah Voigt, and Jay Hunter Morris), and a number of other important new productions: Don Giovanni with Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role, La traviata with Natalie Dessay, and Manon starring Anna Netrebko. This same new Laurent Pelly treatment of Massenet’s masterpiece was also the vehicle for Luisi’s long-awaited debut at La Scala. Additional highlights of the past season included debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Filarmonica della Scala, and guest engagements with Florence’s Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale, the Oslo Philharmonic, and the Genoa Opera Orchestra. Besides a season of concerts in Vienna, Luisi toured with the Vienna Symphony in North America and Europe. In summer 2012 he returned to Sapporo, Japan for his final season as Artistic Director of the Pacific Music Festival.
Luisi’s previous appointments include serving as General Music Director of the Dresden Staatskapelle and Sächsischen Staatsoper (2007–10), Artistic Director of Leipzig Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (1999–2007), Music Director of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (1997–2002), Chief Conductor of the Tonkünstler-orchester in Vienna (1995–2000), and Artistic Director of the Graz Symphony (1990–96). He maintains an active schedule of guest engagements with international orchestras and opera companies, and has appeared with the Bayerischer Rundfunk, Vienna Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, London’s Philharmonia, Tokyo’s NHK Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Rome’s Santa Cecilia Orchestra, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, among others. He is also a frequent guest at the Vienna Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper, and Staatsoper Berlin. The conductor made his debut at the Salzburg Festival with Richard Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae in 2002 and returned the following season for Strauss’s Die Ägyptische Helena.
Luisi’s extensive discography includes rare Verdi operas (Jérusalem, Alzira, and Aroldo), Salieri’s La locandiera, Bellini’s I puritani, the critically lauded recording of Bellini’s I Capuletti e i Montecchi with Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca for Deutsche Grammophon, and the symphonic repertoire of Honegger, Respighi, and Liszt. He recorded all the symphonies and the oratorio Das Buch mit den sieben Siegeln by the neglected Austrian composer Franz Schmidt; several works by Richard Strauss for Sony Classical; and an award-winning account of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony with the Dresden Staatskapelle.
Born in Genoa in 1959, Luisi began piano studies at the age of four and received his diploma from the Conservatorio Nicolò Paganini in 1978. He later attended conducting studies with Milan Horvat at the Conservatory in Graz.
© 21C Media Group, August 2012
News & Critical Acclaim
Fabio Luisi Returns to Zurich Opera in Lead-Up to Second Adventurous Season as General Music Director
...February 13, 2013
This Spring, Fabio Luisi Leads Final Concerts as Chief Conductor of Vienna Symphony and Celebrates Verdi Bicentennial at Zurich Opera
...February 12, 2013