He began playing the piano at age 5, attended the conservatory and university in Zurich and continued conducting studies with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna. For the next 10 years he traveled extensively and was the official pianist of the Swiss Italian Broadcasting Television Company and Orchestra (RTSI). In 1978 he began his career on the podium
He later led the Lucerne Opera House and served
From 1986 to 1989 he was music director of the Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra and opera house and later served
as well as Artist in Association with the Tapiola Sinfonietta. He is also “Schumann Guest Conductor” of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and holds the position of Conductor Laureate of the Basel Symphony Orchestra.
He has also conducted, among other prestigious festivals, at the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals. Mr. Venzago’s American debut took place in 1988 at the invitation of Leonard Bernstein, at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute Orchestra. In North America he has appeared with the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, and the National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa. In March 1995, he conducted the Baltimore Symphony on short notice, a success leading to a very close relationship with that orchestra, including subscription concerts each year and his artistic directorship of the summer festivals 2000-03.
With the Basel Symphony he has recorded the complete symphonic works of Schumann, Ravel and Nono, with the choir and orchestra of the MDR Leipzig the whole choral works by Othmar Schoeck, and with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra all orchestral works of Alban Berg. At present he is preparing a complete recording of Bruckner Symphonies for the CPO label. He has collaborated with famous stage directors Ruth Berghaus, Peter Konwitschny and most recently Hans Neuenfels with whom he presented the 2007 production of Pentheseilea at the Basel Theatre to great acclaim from the international press (Production of the year). The same year his first feature film, "My Brother the Conductor" by Alberto Venzago was released throughout Europe and on DVD. Mr Venzago performs with many renowned artists of the world`s concert stage including Argerich, Bell, Freire, Josefowicz, Kremer, Lang Lang, Levin, Lupu, Maisky, Mutter, Nicolet, Ohlsson, Pletnev, Shaham, Steuerman, Tetzlaff, Vengerow, Zehetmair, K.Zimerman, F.P.Zimmermann and many of the world`s finest singers such as Araiza, Banse, Baltsa, Häfliger, Heppner, Kalisch, Naef, Moser, Popp and Ziesak.