Untitled design -2- 2Fabio Luisi has been named Music Director Designate of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in his native Italy. This announcement comes at a milestone moment for the company, which is now under new management and embarking on a bold new era of rejuvenation. The prestigious appointment will see Fabio lead at least three full operatic productions and numerous symphonic concerts at the Opera di Firenze and annual Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival each season, besides collaborating with Intendant Francesco Bianchi to raise the company’s global profile with a new touring initiative.

With an initial five-year contract, in April 2018 Fabio looks forward to launching his tenure as Music Director. Under the auspices of the Fondazione Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, which is chaired by Florence’s mayor, Dario Nardella, the new position is being created especially for Fabio, reflecting the unprecedentedly substantial nature of the role he will undertake both in Florence and on the international stage.

The company is currently helmed by Zubin Mehta, who held the post of Principal Conductor for the last three full decades; he will be appointed Principal Conductor Emeritus. Fabio’s appointment marks an historic turning point for the venerable Italian company, which ­– through its full season of opera, concert, ballet, and recital offerings, and the spring festival which marks the season’s annual conclusion – represents the center of musical life in Florence, the birthplace of opera.

Fabio says: “Florence has the potential as a city to became a major center for classical music, opera productions, symphonic productions, and this potential has increased exponentially with the creation of the new theater a couple of years ago. With the building of this astonishing complex – a big opera house and a perfectly sized concert hall – this is a very important stage in this development. We all know that Italian musical institutions are in a kind of crisis, but I think this is exactly the moment we should show – especially me as an Italian conductor – a commitment to develop these activities and help these institutions come out of this crisis and show new opportunities and perspectives.  This is why I have accepted the offer of Mayor Dario Nardella and Intendant Francesco Bianchi to become the new Music Director of Opera di Firenze and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Additionally, Maggio Musicale has a very important history. It was one of the most important festivals in Europe, with connections to all the major artists.  We now have to deepen and strengthen its connections with the major artists of our time – conductors, soloists, singers – and I will work with the artistic administration of this institution to make Opera Firenze and Maggio Musicale become again what they were in the past: one of the most important musical institutions in Europe and in the world.”