Fabio Luisi is Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony, and begins his tenure as General Music Director of the Zurich Opera in September 2012.
This season at the Met Maestro Luisi conducts David Alden’s new staging of Un Ballo in Maschera, revivals of Berlioz’s Les Troyens and Verdi’s Aida, and three complete cycles of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. He also leads the MET Orchestra and pianist Yefim Bronfman in concert at Carnegie Hall. Other season highlights also include Jenůfa, Tosca, La Bohème, Rigoletto, Der Rosenkavalier, and Bellini’s La Straniera and at the Zurich Opera, Don Carlo at La Scala, and multiple programs with the Vienna Symphony.
In his new position at the Zurich Opera, Maestro Luisi is embarking upon a special initiative, programming and conducting an increasing number of orchestral concerts with the newly renamed Philharmonia Zürich, previously known as the Orchester der Oper Zürich. Music by Robert Schumann is the centerpiece of this season, with Luisi conducting three concerts at Zurich’s Tonhalle. Repertoire for these concerts includes Schumann’s First and Fourth Symphonies, Piano Concerto, and the oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri, which closes out the season’s concert offerings.
Maestro Luisi made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 2005 leading Don Carlo, and returned to the company in subsequent seasons to conduct Simon Boccanegra, Die Ägyptische Helena, Turandot, Le Nozze di Figaro, Elektra, Hansel and Gretel, Tosca, Lulu, Rigoletto, and Ariadne auf Naxos. He was named Principal Guest Conductor in 2010 and became Principal Conductor with the beginning of the 2011–12 season, during which he led performances of Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung, Don Giovanni, La Traviata, and Manon (including 20 performances of four different operas in a single month, an unprecedented feat at the Met). Manon also served as the vehicle for his long-awaited debut at La Scala. Additional highlights of last 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. In addition to a season of concerts in Vienna, Luisi toured with the Vienna Symphony in North America and Europe. In the summer of 2012 he returned to Sapporo, Japan, for his final season as Artistic Director of the Pacific Music Festival.
Maestro Luisi’s previous appointments include the positions of General Music Director of the Dresden Staatskapelle and Sächsische Staatsoper (2007–10), Artistic Director of Leipzig’s MDR Symphony Orchestra (1999–2007), Music Director of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (1997–2002), Chief Conductor of Vienna’s Tonkünstlerorchester (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 Bavarian Radio Symphony, 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, and Berlin’s Deutsche Oper and Staatsoper. He made his debut at the Salzburg Festival with Richard Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae in 2002 and returned the following season for the same composer’s Die Ägyptische Helena.
Born in Genoa in 1959, Maestro Luisi began piano studies at the age of four and received his diploma from his hometown’s Conservatorio Nicolò Paganini in 1978. He later attended conducting studies with Milan Horvat at the Conservatory in Graz.