© Grégory Massat
The Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra's Musical and Artistic Director since 2012, the Slovenian conductor is also the Musical Director of the Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra (since the 2018/2019 season) and Conductor Laureate with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He began his studies as a pianist and conductor at the Ljubljana Academy of Music and graduated as a conducting student of Otmar Suitner from the Academy of Music and Theatre in Vienna in 1989. Two years later, he became Musical Director of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra in Ljubljana, which he conducted until 2003. At the same time he was invited to conduct orchestras such as the Munich Philharmonic and the Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra of Milan. When he was appointed Chief Conductor and Musical Director of the Basel Symphony Orchestra in 2003, Marko Letonja's activities shifted to opera. He conducted new productions (Tannhäuser, La Traviata, Der Freischütz, Boris Godunov, Tristan und Isolde, Rigoletto and Don Giovanni) at the opera until 2006. He has also recorded various CDs with the Basel Symphony, including all the Felix Weingartner symphonies.
With a vast repertoire, Marko Letonja is an extremely popular guest conductor, who has worked in particular with the Vienna State Opera (The Queen of Spades and The Tales of Hoffmann), the Grand Théâtre de Genève (Medea and Manon), the Semperoper in Dresden (Nabucco) and the Scala in Milan (The Makropoulos Affair, The Tales of Hoffmann etc.) In Strasbourg, he has conducted many productions by the Opéra National du Rhin: Die Walküre, Götterdämmerung, The Flying Dutchman, The Makropoulos Affair and Parsifal.
Eclectic and curious, he is at home with an enormously varied repertoire, ranging from contemporary pieces, for which he is a passionate advocate, to romantic symphonies and classical works. Marko Letonja is driven by a desire to introduce the symphonic repertoire to as many people as possible (students, new audiences etc.), and particularly the youngest listeners, regularly conducting family concerts.