Music Director of the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra
“[The orchestra] played as if it was an extension of Zanetti’s baton. In an expertly paced interpretation, Zanetti found the ideal balance between giving the singers the structure they need to feel supported, but also the freedom they also need not only to breath, but to soar.” San Diego Union-Tribune
“Here we see Zanetti, always willing, thoughtful and expressive, with a natural connection to the spirit of Verdi scores, which he approaches with a considerate and wise mixture of tension and lyricism, of theatricality and more contemplative bel canto.” Codalario
Massimo Zanetti maintains a high-profile international career in the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls.
Massimo Zanetti has been named Music Director of the Gyeonggi Philharmonic beginning with the 2018/2019 Season. The Gyeonggi Philharmonic, one of the major symphonic orchestras in South Korea, founded in 1997, is quickly achieving a full international recognition through prestiogious cooperations with guest conductors like Riccardo Muti, Jaap van Zweden, Daniele Gatti, Pinchas Zukerman and Nicolaj Znaider.
Zanetti’s 17/18 season sees him return to the Opèra Royale de Wallonie/Liège with a new production of Norma and he is taking part in the first season of the renewed Staatsoper Berlin – Unter den Linden with La Traviata. He will cooperate with the Brucknerorchester Linz, the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin with Mischa Maisky, among others. He will also conduct a tour with Sonya Yoncheva in Montpellier, Baden Baden and Paris at Thèatre des Champs-Elysées.
Recent season highlights included his debut with the Russian National Orchestra at Moscow’s celebrated Rostropovich Festival, at Beijing’s NCPA with the production of Don Pasquale, his return to Teatro alla Scala di Milano conducting Carmen and Il barbiere di Siviglia, to Semperoper Dresden to conduct Il barbiere di Siviglia and La Bohème, to the Bavarian State Opera in Munich with Verdi’s Macbeth, to the Parma Verdi Festival with Il Trovatore and to Staatsoper Berlin with Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Don Carlo. Besides highly-acclaimed visits to Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu with Verdi’s I Due Foscari and Simon Boccanegra, both featuring Placido Domingo and Leo Nucci sharing the title role, Zanetti conducted at the ABAO Bilbao the original French version of Don Carlos, Tosca and Un ballo in Maschera at the San Diego Opera, in addition to performances of Verdi’s Requiem with the San Diego Symphony, and made his debut at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires with Verdi’s Otello.Read more
Two highly acclaimed concert performances of Simon Boccanegra with the Wiener Symphoniker and Thomas Hampson in the title role at the Vienna Konzerthaus culminated in a live CD recording for Decca, and he continues to work in concert with significant singers of our time, most recently collaborating with Anna Netrebko at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and at Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona.
As a guest conductor on the operatic stage, he has appeared with houses world-wide including Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Opéra de Paris (Bastille), Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro Regio di Torino, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House, Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona), Teatro Real de Madrid, ABAO Bilbao, and the NCPA Beijing, among many others. He held the position of Music Director of the Flemish Opera from 1999–2002, leading highly-acclaimed productions of a wide range of titles including Salome and Pelléas et Melisande, in addition to numerous symphonic concerts as part of the house’s orchestral season.
Over the last ten years, Zanetti has worked regularly at the Semperoper Dresden and has conducted new productions including Otello, Carmen, Le nozze di Figaro and Norma as well as several symphonic concerts with the Staatskapelle Dresden. He enjoys a close relationship with the Staatskapelle Berlin and is a regular guest also at Berlin’s Staatsoper. Following his debut with Norma in 2002, productions have included L’italiana in Algeri, Carmen, La Bohème, L’elisir d’amore, La Traviata, Don Carlo and Don Giovanni. After his debut in 2008 he has maintained a close collaboration with the Zürich Opera, leading new productions of Luisa Miller and revivals of La fanciulla del West, Anna Bolena, Turandot, Otello and La Bohème. In 2007 he made his Bayerische Staatsoper debut with a new production of Luisa Miller and has returned for numerous revivals. Zanetti has also appeared at Teatro Regio di Parma’s prestigious Verdi Festival with Rigoletto (2008), Nabucco (2009), I Vespri Siciliani (2010) and Un ballo in maschera (2013), as well as Puccini’s Tosca.
As a symphonic conductor, Massimo Zanetti has worked regularly with the Czech Philharmonic, the Weimar Staatskapelle and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, in addition to leading the Bamberger Symphoniker, Stuttgart Radio Symphony and NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Finnish and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestras and the New Zealand Symphony. In Asia, he developed a close relationship with the NHK Symphony Tokyo, as well as with the China Philharmonic and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. He has also worked with the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan and the Nagoya Symphony Orchestra. In the UK, Zanetti worked with the City of Birmingham Symphony and the Hallé Orchestra including both concerts at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and a UK tour.
Massimo Zanetti’s recordings include the Verdi Album with Sonya Yoncheva (Sony Classical, 2018), a Decca release of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra (2013), as well as DVD releases by C Major within the ‘Tutto Verdi’ project of Rigoletto (2008) and I Vespri Siciliani (2010) from the Teatro Regio di Parma, and a CD recording of Flavio Testi’s Saül (Naïve, 2004).
Massimo Zanetti is represented worldwide by IMG Artists.
This approved biography is not to be altered or changed without consulting with the management of the artist.
“Gyeonggi Philharmonic needs a conductor of world-class calibre and sensibility, therefore I am thrilled and delighted that Maestro Massimo Zanetti will be taking up the position of Music Director. I am certain that this new cooperation will propel the Gyeonggi Philharmonic to new heights, gaining worldwide recognition as one of the major Korean orchestras. It is a great chance and we feel very lucky to start working with him in September 2018.”Mr Jae-hoon Chung
“Cette réussite, et cette finesse d’incarnation, on la doit aussi en très grande partie à l’excellence de la direction de Massimo Zanetti : rarement la partition de Verdi aura été dirigée avec une telle science des nuances et du phrasé, qui parvient à rendre éloquente des passages que l’on croyait connaître par cœur. Dès l’ouverture, on est frappé par ces raffinements bienvenus, qui mettent en relief tout le sens que peut prendre cette musique dès lors que l’on y accorde les soins intelligents dont bénéficient d’autres répertoires. Et ce que le chef obtient de l’orchestre, il permet aussi aux chanteurs de l’obtenir, avec des résultats impressionnants.”Laurent Bury
“Massimo Zanetti holds the prime responsibility for the successful outcome of the evening, displaying a fluid and positive communication with the Liceu orchestra, which performed with much more vibrancy and cohesion than on recent nights. Zanetti is an electrifying and energetic conductor, who also understands how to charm with the most evocative lyricism. He understands voices and provided in all respects a thoroughly convincing Verdian score. Certainly, a man like Zanetti at the head of the orchestra could do great things for the Liceu”
““Un ballo in Maschera and Verdi’s Requiem were both a highlight not just for the year but for San Diego Opera as a company. The combination of the principal cast along with Maestro Massimo Zanetti in both Ballo and the requiem was stellar. Zanetti was the most dynamic conductor I’ve seen in San Diego at any performance, anywhere.””
““It may sound absurd, but the outstanding singer in this rapturously-acclaimed premiere of Puccini’s “La Boheme” at the Deutsches Nationaltheater was in fact the Staatskapelle Weimar, inspired by the leadership of an Italian opera specialist on the podium. Massimo Zanetti was the ‘Spiritus Rector’, the guiding soul of the evening, and all eyes were glued on him. Some of Maestro Zanetti’s tempi may have unsettled more traditionally-minded listeners, but with (millimetre) precision he marshalled the minutely fluctuating tempo changes between sections, and achieved an intense flexibility of expression. In this atmosphere filled with energy, the Weimar Staatskapelle moulded this dialogue-heavy work into a single, grand aria, a multi-coloured soundscape…””
Thuringer Allgemeine, 8th September 2014, by Ursula Mieke
“Massimo Zanetti shone as the brightest star of the evening. The maestro gave a driving reading that never turned into bluster. Zanetti shaped, pushed and pulled, all while weaving together the musical fabric of the score which comprises so many colorful sonorities. It was a vision of the piece that was surprising in its inventiveness, but seemed dramatically organic. The clarity he brought to the ensemble, both vocally and instrumentally, betrayed a musically assured mind, intimately familiar with the score. The piece sounded fresh all while remaining fundamentally Verdi. Both orchestra and chorus were at their best and exceptionally attentive and inspired.”
“”Massimo Zanetti’s achievement with a focused Vienna Symphony Orchestra was hardly less than a stroke of a genius. With an agile baton, the Italian conjured blazing flames of passion and gloomy maelstroms of misfortune. The epic emotional narrative of Verdi’s orchestral accompaniment has rarely been better captured. ” ”
“Zanetti’s exceptional mental powers presented an irrepressibly Russian performance of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony: passionate, spirited, infused with supernatural soulfulness […] replete with al-fresco imagery and nervous intensity…”
Thüringische Landeszeitung, April 2014
“[…] everything fits together: no rushing, but no plodding either, the brooding atmosphere well caught by all concerned. Massimo Zanetti can spin a line that encompasses the relationships and personal stances of the characters. Even the hushed playing speaks volumes. […] Working well with the singers and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, he has drawn out the turmoil and intensity of this story of political clashes and personal animosity […] with an intensity of performance that is most telling.”
John T Hughes, International Record Review, February 2014
“As Massimo Zanetti demonstrated, it all starts and ends with the conductor. And right from the orchestra’s first response to Zanetti’s downbeat, you had the feeling this was going to be special. The San Diego Symphony sounded the most accomplished and responsive it has sounded all opera season, perhaps any opera season. It played as if it was an extension of Zanetti’s baton. In an expertly paced interpretation, Zanetti found the ideal balance between giving the singers the structure they need to feel supported, but also the freedom they also need not only to breath, but to soar.”
“[Zanetti’s] conducting is all the more impressive for being centered on Verdi’s rather than his own conceptions of the drama. [He] discloses a refreshing comprehension of Verdi’s scenic construction, shaping numerous passages with insightful use of portamento and […] paces each scene with recognition of its unique energy but without losing sight of the formal structure of the opera as a whole. All things considered, few performances—and even fewer recordings—of Simon Boccanegra in the past half-century have taken flight with the authentic spirit of Verdi as palpably coursing through the choral singing, orchestral playing, and conducting than this one.”