Fabio Luisi, Principal Conductor
Fabio Luisi became Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in 2011 and General Music Director of the Zurich Opera in 2012. He has also been named as the new Principal Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, a position he will assume in the
2017–18 season, and is Music Director Designate of Florence’s Opera di Firenze and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, set to lead these institutions beginning in 2018. As former Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony, he was honored with the orchestra’s Golden Bruckner Medal and Golden Bruckner Ring.
During the Met’s 2015–16 season he conducted the new production of Manon Lescaut and revivals Le Nozze di Figaro and the double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci. At the Zurich Opera he premiered new productions of Wozzeck and I Puritani and conducted Falstaff, Die Zauberflöte, and Tosca. He will return to the Met in 2016–17 to lead a new production of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell.
Maestro Luisi received his first Grammy Award in 2013 for the Met’s production of Wagner’s Ring cycle (released on DVD and Blu-ray). In February 2015 the Philharmonia Zurich launched its Philharmonia Records label with three Luisi recordings: Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, a double album orchestral excerpts from Wagner operas, and a DVD of Rigoletto. His extensive discography also includes rare Verdi operas (Jérusalem, Alzira, and Aroldo), Salieri’s La Locandiera, Bellini’s I Puritani and I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and symphonic works of Honegger, Respighi, and Liszt. He has recorded all the symphonies and the oratorio Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln by Austrian composer Franz Schmidt; several works by Richard Strauss; and Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony with the Staatskapelle Dresden.
Highlights of the 2014–15 season included productions of Macbeth, The Merry Widow, and Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci at the Met; new productions of Martinů’s Julietta and Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and revivals of Norma and Ariadne auf Naxos in Zurich; a new production of Falstaff at Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival; and concert engagements with the Philharmonia Zurich, Cleveland Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and Juilliard Orchestra.
At the Met he has led productions of Madama Butterfly, La Cenerentola, Un Ballo in Maschera, Les Troyens, Aida, Don Giovanni, Manon, La Traviata, Elektra, Hansel and Gretel, Tosca, Lulu, Simon Boccanegra, Die Ägyptische Helena, Turandot, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Rigoletto, since his company debut in 2005 leading Don Carlo.
Born in Genoa, Luisi began piano studies at the age of four and received his diploma from the Conservatorio Niccolò Paganini in 1978. He later attended conducting studies with Milan Horvat at the Conservatory in Graz, Austria. In 2014 he was awarded the Grifo d’Oro, the highest honor given by the city of Genoa, for his contributions to the city’s cultural legacy.