Massimo Zanetti

Music Director of the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra

Massimo Zanetti

On this evening, the orchestra under Massimo Zanetti is sensationally good! It could not be better! It provides an absolutely flawless and inspiring performance.”

Yehya Alazem, Klassik Begeistert

Massimo Zanetti

“A great bravo finally to Massimo Zanetti. The evening ending with a nice ovation, is largely due to him: he was able to bring his singers to the highest vocal emotion. Is this not what we expect from a Bellini opera?”

Bruno Peeters, Crescendo magazine


Massimo Zanetti maintains a high-profile international career in the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls. He 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, Pinchas Zukerman and Nicolaj Znaider.

In the season 2018/19, besides frequent concerts in Seoul and other major South Korean cities, he will start a close cooperation with the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, conducting symphonic concerts and opera productions. He will conduct a production of La Traviata at the Staatsoper Berlin, as well as concerts with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Daegu Symphony Orchestra and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

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.

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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

Gyeonggi Philharmonic’s Chief Executive Officer

“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

Forum Opera

More Reviews

“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”

Alejandro Martinez, 

““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.””

Garrett Harris, San Diego Reader

““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.”

Matthew Richard Martinez, ConcertoNet

“”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.”

James Chute, San Diego Union-Tribune 

“[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.”

Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts, December 2013