Fabio Luisi has been named principal guest conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Luisi, who is currently chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (an appointment recently extended to 2013) and artistic director of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, will take up the post at the beginning of the 2010-11 season.
Luisi made his Met debut in 2005 with Verdi’s Don Carlo and has since conducted Richard Strauss’s Aegyptische Helena, Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra and Puccini’s Turandot. This season he has conducted Strauss’s Elektra, Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, and Puccini’s Tosca and, next month, conducts Berg’s Lulu.
James Levine, the Met’s music director, commented “I am thrilled that Fabio Luisi has agreed to join us as principal guest conductor. In the five years since he made his Met debut, he has developed a wonderful rapport with our orchestra and chorus and shown his extraordinary enthusiasm and commitment over a wide range of repertoire. I am looking forward to working with him in maintaining the highest level of artistic quality at the Met.” And Luisi remarked of the Met company that “I enjoy every minute that we make music together”.
Former musical posts held by the Genoa-born maestro include general music director of Dresden State Opera and Staatskapelle Dresden (2007-10), artistic director of the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig (1999-2007), music director of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (1997-2002), and chief conductor of the Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna (1995-2000). For Sony Classical he has recorded a number of critically acclaimed discs of orchestral music by Richard Strauss with the Staatskapelle Dresden.