Fabio Luisi

Music Director

Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Directorship

GRAMMY® Award winner Fabio Luisi launched his tenure as Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) at the start of the 2020/21 season. In January 2021, the DSO and Luisi announced an extension of the Music Director contract through the 2028/29 season. A maestro of major international standing, the Italian conductor is set to embark on his fifth season as Principal Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and in September 2022 will assume the role of Principal Conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. He previously served for six seasons as Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and nine seasons as General Music Director of the Zurich Opera.

Fabio Luisi’s 2021/22 programs in Dallas and for the DSO’s NEXT STAGE Digital Concert Series will feature performances of the music of beloved classical composers, a continued examination of American music, and a full opera-in-concert. Luisi will open the Texas Instruments Classical Series with Aaron Copland’s Organ Symphony, The Mystic Trumpeter by American composer Frederick Converse, and Brahms’s Symphony No. 1, which will be recorded for a future album release of all of Brahms’s symphonies. He will lead his first DSO Gala on September 25 with a performance of Strauss’s Don Juan and the Dallas premiere of John Williams’s Violin Concerto No. 2, with Anne-Sophie Mutter making her DSO debut as soloist. In the fall, Luisi will conduct Richard Strauss’s Aus Italien and Metamorphosen, lead the Dallas Symphony Chorus in Mozart’s Requiem and welcome Renée Fleming in American composer Kevin Puts’s The Brightness of Light. Six concerts in 2022 will feature a wide range of expression and a diverse group of composers. Luisi will return in January with performances of Adolphus Hailstork’s Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed and the Symphony No. 4 by Franz Schmidt, a composer whose works the conductor has long championed and extensively recorded. In April, the DSO will mount Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with an internationally renowned cast, and in May Luisi will present the Dallas premiere of Bruce Adolphe’s Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt! (This Kiss to the Whole World!) along with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Beyond Dallas this season, Luisi will return to conduct the NHK Orchestra (Tokyo) and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and he will lead the New Year’s Concert in Venice, to be broadcast worldwide. Luisi will conduct Strauss’s Eine Alpensinfonie with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in December and will accompany the same orchestra on tour. In July 2022, Luisi will return to the Festspiele at the Munich Bayerische Staatsoper for a production of Verdi’s Macbeth with Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth. With the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Luisi will embark on a recording cycle of Carl Nielsen’s symphonies for the renowned Deutsche Grammophon label.

The conductor received his first GRAMMY® Award in March 2013 for his leadership of the last two operas of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, when Deutsche Grammophon’s DVD release of the full cycle, recorded live at the Met, was named Best Opera Recording of 2012. In February 2015, the Philharmonia Zurich launched its Philharmonia Records label with three Luisi recordings: Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique; a double album surveying Wagner’s Preludes and Interludes, and a DVD of Verdi’s Rigoletto. Subsequent releases include a survey of Rachmaninov’s Four Piano Concertos and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with soloist Lise de la Salle, and a rare recording of the original version of Bruckner’s monumental Symphony No. 8. Luisi’s extensive discography also includes rare Verdi operas (Jérusalem, Alzira and Aroldo), Salieri’s La locandiera, Bellini’s I puritani and I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Anna Netrebko and Elīna Garanča for Deutsche Grammophon, and the symphonic repertoire of Honegger, Respighi and Liszt. He has recorded all the symphonies and the oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln by neglected Austrian composer Franz Schmidt, several works by Richard Strauss for Sony Classical, and an award-winning account of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony with the Staatskapelle Dresden.

Born in Genoa in 1959, Luisi began piano studies at the age of four and received his diploma from the Conservatorio Niccolò Paganini in 1978. He later studied conducting with Milan Horvat at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Graz. Named both Cavaliere della Repubblica Italiana and Commendatore della Stella d’Italia for his role in promoting Italian culture abroad, in 2014 he was awarded the Grifo d’Oro, the highest honor given by the city of Genoa, for his contributions to the city’s cultural legacy. Off the podium, Luisi is an accomplished composer whose Saint Bonaventure Mass received its world premiere at New York’s St. Bonaventure University, followed by its New York City premiere in the MetLiveArts series, with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Chorus. As reported by the New York Times, CBS Sunday Morning and elsewhere, he is also a passionate maker of perfumes, which he produces in a one-person operation, flparfums.com.