The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Who is Fabulous Fabio Luisi? And just how good is he as a conductor? It’s time to ask as The Maestro with Momentum heads to the Metropolitan Opera.

October 2, 2011
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By Jacob Stockinger

I suppose serious opera buffs have known the name of conductor Fabio Luisi (below, in a photo by Barbara Luisi) for a long time.

But I am not a serious opera buff.

Still, I do follow a lot of classical musicians and their movements.

So I wondered where did he come from that Fabulous Fabio should become rather suddenly the heir apparent to longtime music director James Levine at the iconic Metropolitan Opera?

True, Luisi has been given posts in Rome and Geneva as well as New York. And he has guest conductor opera and symphonies all over the world.

But suddenly, it seems, Luisi has taken a quantum leap of the public consciousness of opera conductors.

So I wondered: Who is Fabio Luisi? Just how good is he? And what is a good introduction to the Maestro with Momentum?

Here are some stories and interviews that might fill in the blanks and bridge the gaps.

Here is a New York Times story about Levine and Luisi:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/24/arts/music/fabio-luisi-james-levines-heir-apparent-at-the-met-opera.html?pagewanted=all

Here is a profile with Luisi and part-time Madison resident, composer John Harbison.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903791504576586753447580080.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

And here are some other sources, including a YouTube clip of Luisi (at the end) conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in Mozart‘s Overture to “The Marriage of Figaro“:

http://operachic.typepad.com/opera_chic/fabio-luisi/

http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/news/interviews/detail.aspx?id=11998

Have you heard Fabio Luisi conduct an opera – or anything?

What did you think?

What do you think of him becoming the Met’s principal guest conductor and the heir apparent to James Levine?

The Ear wants to hear.

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Posted in Classical music

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