Lorenzo Viotti | Photo: Márcia Lessa
At the top of the winners’ rostrum: Weimar conducting graduate Lorenzo Viotti named Chief Conductor of the Gulbenkian Symphony Orchestra in Lisbon
Following suit after David Afkham, who has been Chief Conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra in Madrid since the 2014/15 season, yet another Weimar conducting alumnus has been given a leading role on the Iberian Peninsula: Lorenzo Viotti will become the Chief Conductor of the Gulbenkian Symphony Orchestra as of the 2018/19 season. The 27-year-old completed his master’s studies with Prof. Nicolás Pasquet, Prof. Gunter Kahlert and Martin Hoff in 2015 at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar. Since then, he has been extremely successful on a free-lance basis.
Lorenzo Viotti’s former professor Nicolás Pasquet of the “Weimar Conducting Forgery” happily remarked about the good news. “The Gulbenkian is the most significant orchestra in Portugal”, Pasquet says. “I am very happy for Lorenzo and am really proud of him!” Already during the current 2017/18 season, Viotti is working as the interim Chief Conductor in Lisbon.
At merely 25 years of age, Lorenzo Viotti won the Young Conductors’ Award” at the Salzburg Festspiele in 2015, the 11th International Conducting Competition of the Orchestra de Cadqués, and the first prize at the Conducting Competition of the MDR Symphony Orchestra. Born in Lausanne, he studied piano, voice and percussion in Lyon. In Vienna, he attended the conducting class of Georg Mark and also performed as a percussionist in various orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic. He completed his conducting studies under Nicolás Pasquet at the Music University FRANZ LISZT Weimar in 2015.
Lorenzo Viotti has already conducted numerous renowned orchestras, including the Tonkünstler Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France in Paris, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Tokyo and Osaka Symphony Orchestras, the Bamberg Symponiker, the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, the RSO Vienna, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London and many others. As a last-minute substitute in 2016, he debuted with the Königliche Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Vienna Symphoniker, and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, and also conducted the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna at the Salzburg Festspiele for the first time.
The operas he has conducted include Offenbach’s „La Belle Hélène“ at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Rossini’s „La cambiale di matrimonio“ at the Teatro La Fenice in Venedig, „Carmen“ at the Stadttheater Klagenfurt and „Rigoletto“ at the Stuttgart Opera and the Semperoper Dresden – und finally in July 2017, Donizetti’s „Viva La Mamma!“ at the Lyon Opera. The „International Opera Award 2017“ named Lorenzo Viotti the „Newcomer of the Year“. Future plans include projects with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, the Munich Philharmoniker, the Vienna Symphoniker, the SWR Symphony Orchestra along with numerous opera productions in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Dresden, Zurich, Lyon, Paris and Tokyo, among others.