French conductor Emmanuel Villaume has been appointed chief conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra from its 2009-10 season.
The first season – the orchestra’s 60th anniversary – will include Villaume conducting Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, Poulenc’s Gloria and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. He will increase his commitments in Bratislava over the coming years.
“I have worked a lot over the past 10 years with the Slovak Philharmonic,” he said, “and I am looking forward to building this relationship even further.” Villaume also holds the post of artistic director of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, whose roots date back to 1701, and has completed nine seasons as music director at the Spoleto Festival USA. Other recent engagements have included Tosca at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Carmen at Los Angeles Opera, and Manon at the Lyric Opera of Chicago with Natalie Dessay and Jonas Kaufmann. The forthcoming season will see Villaume conduct concerts with Anna Netrebko in Scandinavia and Germany, and a production of The Merry Widow in Chicago.