Mario Venzago – Conductor
Mario Venzago was, until summer 2021 and for 11 years, the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bern Symphony Orchestra. Before, he has led as Principal Conductor or General Music Director the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Basque National Orchestra in San Sebastian, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Graz Opera und Graz Philharmonic Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Frankfurt (now Bremen), the Theatre and Philharmonic Orchestra of the City of Heidelberg and the Musikkollegium Winterthur. From 2010 to 2014 he was Principal Conductor of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, from 2010 to 2019 Artist in Association of the finnish Tapiola Sinfonietta and from 2000 to 2003 Artistic Director of the Baltimore Summer Fest, as successor to Pinchas Zukermann and David Zinman.
The season 2022/23 will take him to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan Philharmonic Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Bochum Symphony Orchestra, Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester, to Schweizer Jugend-Sinfonie-Orchester for a tour of Switzerland and many others.
Mario Venzago has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the orchestras in Philadelphia and Boston, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Filarmonica della Scala and the NHK Symphony Orchestra. He is a regular guest conductor with internationally renowned orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the Frankfurter Museumsorchester. He has given concerts with the world’s most famous soloists, and collaborated with directors such as Ruth Berghaus, Peter Konwitschny and Hans Neuenfels.
Several of his CDs have won international prizes such as the Grand Prix du Disque, the Diapason d’or and the Edison Award. His recordings of the operas “Venus” and “Penthesilea” and of all choral works by Othmar Schoeck with the MDR choir and symphony orchestra received great international recognition and prestigious awards, as did his first film, “My Brother the Conductor” by Alberto Venzago, which was shown in cinemas across Europe and brought out on DVD. The project “The other Bruckner” with the recording of all ten symphonies, whose individual releases were acclaimed by international critics, was released at CPO.A collaboration with Sony Classical led to the spectacular recording of Franz Schubert’s „Unfinished“ symphony with the Kammerorchester Basel, completed and conducted by Mario Venzago, and the recording of all serenades and symphonies by Johannes Brahms. The most recent CD projects have been recordings of Othmar Schoeck’s opera „Schloss Dürande“ in a new version with the Berner Symphonieorchester and the cantata „Vom Fischer und syner Fru“ with the Musikkollegium Winterthur (both Claves). Most recently, in 2022, Prospero released his recording of Schubert’s reconstructed 7th Symphony with Bern Symphony Orchestra. His recording of the Suite from Bernard Herrmann’s “Wuthering Heights” with Singapore Symphony Orchestra is scheduled for release on Chandos Records in June 2023.
In addition to his activity as a conductor, Mario Venzago recently has increasingly devoted himself to his passion for composing. In 2021 he premiered his Violin Concerto with Soyoung Yoon and the Bern Symphony Orchestra. Currently, various works by Mario Venzago are in preparation for publication by Universal Edition, including two operas.
The score for Mario Venzago’s reconstruction of the missing movements from Schubert’s “Unfinished” here as a free download (approx. 4.7 MB).
Excerpt from the premiere of the violin concerto composed by Mario Venzago. Soyoung Yoon, violin; Bern Symphony Orchestra; George-Cosmin Banica, concertmaster; Mario Venzago, director
World premiere of Mario Venzago’s violin concerto with the Bern Symphony Orchestra,
Soyoung Yoon – violin, George-Cosmin Banica – concertmaster under the direction of Mario Venzago
The Göteborger Sinfoniker present their chief conductor Mario Venzago. (Cinematic impressions without sound)
Duration approx. 3 minutes
File size 5.1MB
A cut from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 75th Anniversary CD shows Mario Venzago at work.
Duration approx. 2 minutes
File size 14MB
Excerpts from the 13th symphony concert on May 30, 2013 by the Bern Symphony Orchestra in Kulturkasino Bern.
Duration approx. 4 minutes
File size 52MB
….I’m delighted that you are composing again – and that you have been so productive! I listened to your marvelous violin concerto on YouTube and was greatly impressed! THAT is exactly what a concerto should do!! The piece has everything one could ask for – virtuosic and idiomatic writing for the soloist; colorful and effective orchestration (who needs a bunch of violins!); clear and easily perceivable structure; a perfect blend of angst, humor (I loved the violin/snare drum duo!) and lyricism. PLUS, we get a quasi-waltz, touching Bachian, Mahlerian and Bergian tributes, AND AN UNBELIEVABLE SOLOIST! In toto, the work is an enormous success – engaging and gratifying for both listeners and performers. Bravo, Mario! I hope that your new operas will be produced at some point ere too long – your music deserves to be heard far and wide!!
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