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Dallas Symphony Orchestra announces Fabio Luisi as new Music Director Designate

Dallas Symphony Association Chairman Sanjiv Yajnik and President & CEO Kim Noltemy announced in a press release that conductor Fabio Luisi has been appointed to the Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Directorship of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, serving as Music Director Designate in the 2019/20 season. He assumes the title of Music Director in the 2020/21 season, succeeding Jaap van Zweden, who ended his decade-long tenure as Music Director in May 2018. Luisi was chosen following a two-year search by a 13-member committee chaired by Morton H. Meyerson and comprised of musicians, board, staff and community leaders.

Best known to American audiences for his acclaimed work as Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and guest engagements with leading U.S. orchestras, Fabio Luisi currently holds three key European positions: Principal Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, General Music Director of the Zurich Opera and Music Director of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. His previous orchestral posts include tenures as Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, General Music Director of the Staatskapelle Dresden, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig and Musical Director of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. He is Music Director of the summer “Festival della Valle d’Itria” in Italy’s Martina Franca.

“Maestro Luisi is highly respected around the world, and we are proud to welcome him to Dallas,” said Alexander Kerr, Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, in the release. “He comes to us with such a rich history of opera and symphonic experience. His elegant and refined style connected beautifully in performance, and I know he will be a visionary musical leader of the DSO.”

Luisi will begin his official tenure as Music Director Designate in the 2019/20 season and looks forward to taking on the title of Music Director in the 2020/21 season, when he will conduct the DSO for seven weeks. Luisi will expand his concert week count in Dallas throughout the initial five-year contract period, which runs through 2023/24. He will conduct concerts in the Texas Instruments Classical Series, programs in the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival and other performances throughout the North Texas community and beyond.

Under Luisi’s supervision, the DSO will launch a ten-year program to commission 20 new works for the orchestra from composers including Julia Wolfe and Steve Mackey. This commissioning project will yield at least ten new works by female composers. The DSO will also begin planning for international tours during Luisi’s tenure.

Supporting the next generation of listeners, Luisi will also focus on education and community engagement. His time in Dallas will include work outside of the Meyerson to spark inspiration and collaboration around the city and in underserved areas.

“I am delighted and proud to be appointed Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra,” said Luisi in the release. “From the moment I met the orchestra again this spring, I felt a strong connection artistically and personally. These are supremely talented musicians, who welcomed me so warmly. Our performances were filled with great joy, and I look forward to working with them to share our mutual passion for this great music with audiences.”

Find out more here.

*Photo courtesy of Dallas Symphony Orchestra


The Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents the finest in orchestral music at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, regarded as one of the world’s premier concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches more than 230,000 adults and children through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives. The DSO’s involvement with the City of Dallas and the surrounding region includes award-winning multi-faceted educational program, community projects, popular parks concerts and youth programming. The DSO has a tradition dating back to 1900, and it is a cornerstone of the unique, 68-acre Arts District in downtown Dallas that is home to multiple performing arts venues, museums and parks, the largest district of its kind in the nation. The DSO is supported, in part, by funds from the Office of Cultural Affairs, City of Dallas. Find out more on the organization’s website. publishes every week.
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