Is Italy the new maestro source?

Is Italy the new maestro source?


norman lebrecht

January 05, 2016

Elizabeth Braw in the Economist spots a trend in Gianandrea Noseda’s Washington appointment. Suddenly, she says, everyone’s buying Italian – the Concertgebouw, Zurich, San Francisco Opera…. and there are more to come:



When “The Barber of Seville”, one of the most beloved works in the opera repertoire, opens at the Opéra National de Paris next month, it will be conducted by a young Italian, Giacomo Sagripanti (pictured). The Paris Opera’s production of another favourite, “La Traviata”, will be conducted by yet another, Michele Mariotti, while Mr Luisotti and Pier Giorgio Morandi will conduct “Rigoletto” and Daniele Calligari will conduct “Il Trovatore”.

According to Marco Armiliato, a Genoa-born conductor, Italy is experiencing what he calls the Federer Effect: one famous practitioner inspiring lots of younger people to pursue the same path.

Read here.


  • RW2013 says:

    Phillipa likes to eat Italian.

  • Pedro says:

    Italy had always outstanding maestros. From Toscanini and de Sabata to Chailly and Sinopoli not forgetting Giuliní, Abbado and Muti. Gatti is excelent. Noseda too. Why this fuss?

  • Peter says:

    A strange diatribe.
    Italy’s conservatories are great? Since when?
    And so stupid in its “Italian music only good by Italien conductors” regressive nationalistic chauvinism.

    The tidbit of only La Fenice being “profitable” exposes an incompetent writer. Opera is nowhere even near to being profitable, opera is always depending for the bigger part of its budget on additional funding. Maybe what she ment to say “within planned budget”.

  • CDH says:

    That headline is the silliest thing I have read in a long time. NEW?

    • Thomas says:

      Indeed, Italy has always been the one and only “Maestro” source.
      Other nations produced professional conductors.
      Italy produced “Maestros”.
      Maestro is an honorary title of a master, a teacher. It’s used for signaling respect and subordination.
      It’s worth noting, that “North of the Alps” (Herr Muti, do you copy?) the likes of Furtwängler, Karajan and Celibidache found the title silly or outright rejected it at times.

      • Jaybuyer says:

        Rumour says that Barenboim attended a dinner party last year and upon leaving thanked the assembled guests for a wonderful evening and particularly for not calling him ‘maestro’.

  • Respect says:

    oh my goodness. An Italian being hired to conduct “Barbiere”. One world class maestro with 30 years career getting a major a few years back. Two others with 15-20 years behind them getting lesser posts. A sweeping revolution. The rest had better add vowels to their names or they will be out of work.

    Italy has always produced a handful of impactful maestri. Was this a slow news week?

  • Max S. says:

    But, MAMA MIA, this IS the language for singing, CANTAAAREEEE!

    Riccardo Muti, Gianandrea Noseda, Giacomo Sagripanti, Michele Mariotti, Nicola Luisotti, Pier Giorgio Morandi, Daniele Calligari, Marco Armiliato.

    Linguistically only flesh and fat, no bones.
    Or the linguistic equivalent of ordering 8 Tiramisu for dinner.