Medinea On Air
Slovenian Conductor Marko Letonja continues a distinguished career as Chief Conductor and General Music Director of the Bremen Philharmonic, a post he assumed in 2018. Celebrated for his particularly large and diverse repertoire on both symphonic and operatic stages, Marko attracts consistent praise for his ‘striking’, ‘masterful’ (Passauer Neue Presse), ‘smart’ (The Times), and ‘inspired’ (Bachtrack) musical direction, and for bringing ‘high level vision’ coupled with ‘highly refined style’ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) to his work with orchestras and singers alike.
Marko previously served as Chief Conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg from 2012 to 2021, a tenure that featured collaborations with renowned artists such as Isabelle Faust, Stephen Hough, Nemanja Radulović, and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. His recent recording with the orchestra and vocalist Michael Spyres, entitled Baritenor, quickly amassed critical acclaim and was chosen as one of the top 10 classical albums of 2021 by The Times and winning the 2022 Gramophone Award for Vocal Album of the Year. Marko was also awarded the Helpmann Award for Best Symphony Orchestra Concert for a concert performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde with Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton.
Marko has been invited to guest conduct a number of the world’s most prestigous orchestras, including the Vienna Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Hamburg Symphony, Salzburg Mozarteum, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, and the Berlin Radio Symphony. He has previously held further titled positions, including Chief Conductor of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and Chief Conductor of Sinfonieorchester Basel and the Theater Basel, where he recorded a complete cycle of symphonies by Felix Weingartner and conducted new productions of Tannhäuser, La Traviata, Der Freischütz, Boris Godunov, Tristan und Isolde, Rigoletto, and Don Giovanni.
More recent and forthcoming operatic highlights include a production of Tales of Hoffman at the New National Theatre in Tokyo; productions of Schreker’s Der Schatzgräber and Ginastera’s Beatrice Cenci at the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg, the latter of which won the Grand Prix for Best Opera Production of the Syndicat Professionnel de la Critique in 2019. An avid enthusiast of the music of Wagner, Marko has also conducted the Ring Cycle at both the Royal Swedish Opera and Teatro Saõ Carlos in Lisbon, as well as productions of Parsifal, Die Walküre, and Götterdämmerung at the Opéra National du Rhin.
Previously, Marko has also conducted at the Vienna State Opera (Queen of Spades and Tales of Hoffman), the Grand Théâtre of Geneva (among others Medea and Manon), the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome (Roméo et Juliette), the Semperoper in Dresden (Nabucco), Teatro alla Scala in Milan (Il dissoluto assolto by José Samarago, Hindemith’s Sancta Susanna), the Staatsoper Berlin (Madama Butterfly), the Deutsche Oper Berlin (La Traviata), the Opéra National du Rhin (Walküre, Götterdämmerung, Der Fliegender Holländer, Queen of Spades), and at the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari (Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, and Der Fliegende Holländer).
Marko Letonja began his studies as a pianist and conductor at the Music Academy of Ljubljana and graduated as a student of Otmar Suitner at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Vienna in 1989. Two years later he became Music Director of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra in Ljubljana, which he conducted until 2003.