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Fabio Luisi (Conductor)

Fabio Luisi (born 17 January 1959, Genoa) is an Italian conductor. On September 6, 2011, he was named Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera.

As a child, Luisi suffered from asthma. Luisi attended the Conservatorio Nicolт Paganini and was a student of Memi Schiavina. After receiving his degree in piano studies, he continued piano instruction with Aldo Ciccolini and Antonio Bacchelli.

Luisi developed an interest in conducting while working as a piano accompanist, and he studied conducting at the conservatory in Graz with Milan Horvat. He worked at the Graz Opera as an accompanist and conductor. His first conducting appearance was in Italy in 1984. From 1990 to 1995, he was principal conductor of the Graz Symphony Orchestra. From 1995 to 2000, he served as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tonkьnstlerorchester in Vienna. From 1996 to 1999, he was one of three main conductors (Hauptdirigenten) of the MDR Symphony Orchestra (Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester) in Leipzig, along with Marcello Viotti and Manfred Honeck. From 1999 to 2007, he was sole principal conductor of the MDR orchestra. He was the principal conductor of l'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande from 1997 to 2002.

In January 2004, Luisi was named chief conductor of both the Staatskapelle Dresden and of the Semperoper, Dresden. He assumed both posts in September 2007. With the Staatskapelle Dresden, Luisi has conducted commercial recordings of music by Richard Strauss and Anton Bruckner. Luisi was originally scheduled to step down as chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden in 2012, at the expiration of his contract. However, Luisi resigned from both Dresden posts in February 2010, with immediate effect, after reports that the Staatskapelle's management had secured a contract with the ZDF network for a scheduled televised concert on New Year's Eve, 2010 with Christian Thielemann as conductor, without consulting him at all in his capacity as the orchestra's GMD.

Since 2005, he has served as principal conductor of the Vienna Symphony. He is contracted to the VSO through 2013, and is scheduled to step down from the VSO chief conductorship after the 2012-2013 season. In June 2009, Luisi was named the next Generalmusikdirektor of the Zurich Opera, effective with the 2012-2013 season, with an initial contract of 5 years.

In the United States, Luisi made his Metropolitan Opera conducting debut in March 2005, with Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlos. In April 2010, Luisi was named the Met's principal guest conductor, for an initial contract of 3 years, effective with the 2010-2011 season. Luisi is the second conductor to be named to this post at the Metropolitan Opera, after Valery Gergiev. He was elevated to the post of Principal Conductor in September 2011, when Music Director James Levine withdrew from his scheduled fall 2011 performances. Luisi has also conducted several opera recordings, including Giuseppe Verdi's Aroldo, Jerusalem and Alzira, and Gioacchino Rossini's William Tell.

Luisi and his wife Barbara, a photographer and former orchestra violinist, have three sons. The family is in the process of relocating from Vienna to New York City.

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