Luisi and Vienna Symphony release new Mahler 6 recording

February 7th 2013

Fabio Luisi and the Vienna Symphony released the digital version of their most recent recording, Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, on February 5. Last October, he helped launch the orchestra’s new recording label with an account of Mahler’s First Symphony, prompting one commentator to report: “Luisi’s interpretation is among the most satisfying I’ve heard in years” (Classical Candor). Their recording of Mahler’s Sixth will be released on CD in the United States on February 26.

Click here to buy the digital copy of the album on iTunes, and here to buy it on Amazon.

On the heels of his successful January concert series with the Vienna Symphony, Fabio Luisi returns to lead the orchestra in four programs that mark the close of his eight-year tenure there as Chief Conductor (March 12–31).For the first of their March programs together, Luisi leads the Vienna Symphony in two performances of César Franck’s sole symphony, Gottfried von Einem’s Capriccio, and Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto;Gramophone magazine describes piano soloist Ingolf Wunder as “in control, consistent, confident, and professional … [with] that subtle extra magic” (March 12 & 13).

Three days later, Luisi reunites with the orchestra for Verdi’s Overture to La forza del destino, Richard Strauss’sAus Italien, and Castelli Romani for piano and orchestra by Joseph Marx. This time the piano soloist will beMarkus Schirmer, winner of the Karl Böhm Interpretation Prize (March 16 & 17).

Brahms’s enigmatic Fourth Symphony forms the centerpiece of Luisi’s penultimate program with the orchestra, alongside Benjamin Britten’s “Soirées Musicales” and Luciano Berio’s arrangement of Verdi’s Eight Romances for tenor and orchestra with Rolando Villazón, who Opera News styles “the most talked-about and sought-after lyric tenor in the world” (March 19, 20 & 21).

The annual highlight of the season, “Springtime in Vienna,” marks Luisi’s final performances as the Vienna Symphony’s chief conductor, for which he has selected a program of personal favorites from his homeland. These include overtures by Verdi and Rossini, a Puccini intermezzo, Respighi’s symphonic poem Feste Romane, and Verdi and Puccini arias featuring the “virile, glistening voice” (New York Times) of tenor Roberto de Biasio (March 30 & 31).

Fabio Luisi leads Vienna Symphony and Zurich Opera this spring

January 13th 2013

On the heels of his successful January concert series with the Vienna Symphony, Fabio Luisi returns to lead the orchestra in four programs that mark the close of his eight-year tenure there as Chief Conductor (March 12–31). These follow a special gala concert (Feb 9) and a new production of Rigoletto (Feb 3–26), both celebrating Verdi’s bicentennial at the Zurich Opera, where Luisi is now in his inaugural season as General Music Director.

When Luisi brought the Vienna Symphony to New York’s Lincoln Center last season, the New York Times observed: “Mr. Luisi whipped his musicians into a frenzy of speedy, tightly focused playing. If you measure performances in terms of sheer energy, precision, and adrenaline, these were hard to top.” Last October, he helped launch the orchestra’s new recording label with an account of Mahler’s First Symphony, prompting one commentator to report: “Luisi’s interpretation is among the most satisfying I’ve heard in years” (Classical Candor). Their recording of Mahler’s Sixth will be released in the United States on February 26.

To honor the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, Zurich Opera presents a Verdi Gala Concert of the great Italian’s overtures, arias, and duets on February 9. Luisi will lead the Zurich Philharmonia, Zurich Opera Choir, and a quintet of vocal soloists headed by star soprano Anja Harteros, whose way with Verdi helped her become the first German to win Cardiff Singer of the World. Her fellow soloists will be mezzo Olivia Vote, tenor Francesco Meli, baritone Alexey Markov, and bass Tomasz Rudnicki.

Finally, Luisi looks forward to conducting the Zurich Opera’s revival of Puccini’s La bohème, headlined by Inva Mula, Sen Guo, Stefano Secco, and Massimo Cavalletti (Feb 15 – March 3).

Fabio Luisi garners first Grammy nomination for Met “Ring” cycle

December 17th 2012

The Metropolitan Opera’s new recording of Wagner’s epic four-opera cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen, has been nominated for a Grammy for “Best Opera Recording.” Released on Blu-ray DVD by Deutsche Grammophon, it features Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde and Bryn Terfel as Wotan under the “exciting, insightful, and assured” leadership (New York Times) of Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi. Luisi leads both Siegfried and Götterdämmerung for the recording, which was recorded live over the course of two seasons at the Met, beginning on opening night of their season in 2010 with Das Rhinegold and culminating in 2012 with Luisi leading three full Ring cycles. Luisi returns to the Ring in 2013, the same year that marks the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth, for three more cycles of Robert Lepage’s landmark production, running from April 6 to May 11. More information can be found here.

Rare Revival of Berlioz’s Epic “Les Troyens” Opens at the Met December 13

December 3rd 2012

Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi will lead a rare revival of Berlioz’s Les Troyens beginning December 13. Francesca Zambello’s production, critically acclaimed when it premiered at the Met in 2003, will star Marcello Giordani in his house role debut as Aeneas, the central character in the grand tragedy, which travels from the crumbling walls of Troy to the North African kingdom of Carthage. Deborah Voigt will reprise her performance of the Trojan prophetess Cassandra, a role she debuted in the premiere of Zambello’s production, and Susan Graham will sing her first Met performances of Dido, the lovesick queen of Carthage. The Saturday, January 5 matinee performance of Les Troyens will be transmitted worldwide as part of the Met’s Live in HD series, which is now seen in more than 1,900 movie theaters in 64 countries around the world.

Luisi is only the fourth conductor in Met history to lead Les Troyens, which had its Met premiere in 1973 under the baton of Rafael Kubelik and has also been led by John Nelson and Met Music Director James Levine. This season at the Met, Luisi also conducts the new production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, a revival of Verdi’s Aida, and three complete cycles of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen.


Fabio Luisi returns to Carnegie Hall with The MET Orchestra, Dec 2

November 21st 2012

On December 2, Fabio Luisi leads The MET Orchestra in a concert featuring Sofia Gubaidulina’s violin concerto In tempus praesens with Met Concertmaster David Chan, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, “Emperor,” featuring guest soloist Yefim Bronfman, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1945 version). This performance will be the fourth time Luisi has led The MET Orchestra in concert at the legendary New York City venue in the last three years, with previous concerts featuring soloists Renee Fleming, Natalie Dessay and Richard Goode performing repertory ranging from Mozart and Strauss to Harbison, Berg and Glière. This concert comes in the midst of an exceptionally busy time for Luisi at the Met, where Luisi is Principal Conductor. He is currently leading critically acclaimed productions of Aida, which the New York Times called “an electrically charged and energetic performance,” and Un Ballo in Maschera. Luisi also adds a third production to his conducting dockett at the Met beginning on December 13 – a rare revival of Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens.

Luisi’s first three productions at the Met all part of Live in HD series

November 1st 2012

Fabio Luisi begins his second season as Principal Conductor of The Metropolitan Opera on November 8 when he leads an all-star cast, including Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick and Marcello Alvarez, in David Alden’s new production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. If you can’t be in New York City to see it live, Un Ballo in Maschera will be the first of three productions led by Luisi to be transmitted to movie theaters world-wide as part of the Met’s Live in HD series. Verdi’s dramatic story of jealousy and vengeance can be seen on December 8, and for the following weekend, December 15, the Italian conductor returns to the silver screen for the Met’s legendary production of another Verdi classic: Aida. Luisi rings in the new year with his third production of the season at the Met, a revival of Berlioz’s rarely performed epic Les Troyens, for first Live in HD broadcast of 2013 on January 5.

November begins with return to the Met for Fabio Luisi

October 2nd 2012

Fabio Luisi returns to New York’s Metropolitan Opera this November, kicking off his second season as Principal Conductor at the legendary house. Luisi leads a star-studded cast, including Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Dolora Zajick, Marcello Alvarez and Sondra Radvanovsky, in a new production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera beginning November 8. Luisi also leads a revival of the Met’s grand production of Aida, running from November 23 through December 28, and a much anticipated return of Berlioz’s Les Troyens from December 13 to January 5. All three productions are featured in the Met’s Live in HD series this year, which broadcasts live opera to thousands of movie theaters worldwide.

Luisi begins tenure as General Music Director at Zurich Opera

September 15th 2012

The preeminent Italian conductor Fabio Luisi, who holds top posts at the Metropolitan Opera and the Vienna Symphony, begins his appointment as music director of the Zurich Opera at the start of the 2012-13 season with Jenufa, Janáček’s searing 1904 opera about an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Luisi makes his Zurich debut on September 23 with a new production of Jenufa by young Russian director Dmitri Cherniakov, considered one of the most talented stage directors working today, and a cast headlined by Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais in the title role, tenors Pavol Breslik and Christopher Ventris as half-brothers Steva and Laca, and Michaela Martens as Kostelnicka. Jenufa is the first of five operas Luisi will lead in Zurich, with Verdi’s Rigoletto and Puccini’s La bohème to follow in February and March and Bellini’s La straniera and Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier set for June and July 2013.

Fabio Luisi makes La Scala Debut

June 18th 2012

On June 19, 2012, Fabio Luisi makes his debut at Milan’s storied Teatro alla Scala, conducting the Laurent Pelly production of Massenet’s Manon, which he conducted earlier this season at the Met, to great acclaim. (“Mr. Luisi conducts a stylish, crisp performance of the score, allowing singers ample time to linger over arias, yet keeping things lithe and moving.” – The New York Times)

Later in June, in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of the Filarmonica della Scala, Luisi leads the orchestra in several concerts on a tour of European festivals: on June 27, at the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg (Russia), Luisi conducts the orchestra in a program consisting of Verdi’s La forza del destino overture, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (featuring Yuja Wang on piano), and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique; and on July 1, in Baden-Baden (Germany), he leads them in an all-Brahms program that features Hélène Grimaud playing the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

In July and August, Luisi returns to Sapporo, Japan, to lead concerts and a conducting master class as Artistic Director of the Pacific Music Festival. Future engagements at La Scala include a return in fall 2013 to lead Verdi’s Don Carlo.

Double debut at La Scala highlights Luisi’s May and June

May 10th 2012

Fabio Luisi passed a busy spring in New York, leading six different Metropolitan Opera productions in April – more than any conductor has accomplished in a single month since James Levine in 1979. Now Maestro Luisi returns to Europe for orchestral and operatic performances that include a double debut in Milan. First, he leads the Filarmonica della Scala in concert on May 21; then, in June, he makes his opera debut at Milan’s storied Teatro alla Scala, conducting the Laurent Pelly production of Massenet’s Manon, in which he has already won high praise this season at the Met. Luisi will also tour with the Filarmonica della Scala in St. Petersburg and Baden-Baden this summer, and is scheduled to return to La Scala in fall 2013 to lead Verdi’s Don Carlo.

In May meanwhile, as Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony, the conductor leads two programs: the first comprising Franz Schmidt’s oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln (“The Book with Seven Seals”), while the second pairs Mahler’s First Symphony with Bruch’s First Violin Concerto, featuring star violinist Joshua Bell. The coming summer also sees Luisi return to Sapporo, Japan, to lead concerts and a conducting master class as Artistic Director of the Pacific Music Festival.