Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon has appointed the French-Swiss conductor Lorenzo Viotti as the next Music Director from the season 18/19. Until then he acts as Music Director designate, conducting two programmes in spring 2018.
During the three years of his contract, with an option for renovation, he will develop the orchestra’s artistic profile with programmes including repertoire from the classical era up to present day. He will also create projects with the Gulbenkian Choir.
Lorenzo Viotti conducted the Gulbenkian Orchestra for the first time in January 2017, with a programme including music by Wagner, Chausson, Debussy and Skrjabin. Later that season he returned with Waltraud Meier as soloist to explore the music of Mahler, Webern and Rakhmaninov.
Lorenzo Viotti said: “At the first concerts I discovered a technically strong orchestra with a very musical vision of interpretation. This was something that I found truly impressive. An orchestra with a great desire for making music and one that manages to convey emotion and passion. And that pleased me, because I felt there was a real chance of something special happening.”
Risto Nieminen, director of Gulbenkian Música, said: Already discussing the programme of his first concert with our orchestra I sensed Lorenzo Viotti a serious musician who wants to make all his concerts unique. He has a natural and profound capacity of making the music communicate with the audience. This appointment gives the Gulbenkian Orchestra an enormous opportunity to develop under his leadership.
Lorenzo Viotti, 27, has been in rising demand of orchestras and opera houses in Europe and beyond. He came to international attention as winner of the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young conductors Award in 2015 and the Cadaqués International Conducting Competition in 2013. In 2017 he received the International Opera Newcomer Award.
The orchestras Lorenzo Viotti has conducted include Orchestre National de France, Bamberger Symphoniker, Gewandhaus Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Staatkapelle Dresden, Münchner Philharmoniker, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He has also worked in various opera houses, such as Châlelet in Paris, La Fenice in Venice, Semperoper in Dresden and Opéra de Lyon.