Maestro stays: Copenhagen’s just too wonderful

Maestro stays: Copenhagen’s just too wonderful


norman lebrecht

May 17, 2018

Fabio Luisi, 59, has extended his contract until 2023 with the Danish Radio symphony orchestra.

The press release speaks of his ‘great passion for Carl Nielsen’s music’ and upcoming performances by Hans Abrahamsen and Bent Sørensen.

‘With Fabio Luisi in the lead, we find that many new doors are open to the DR Symphony Orchestra,’ says DR boss, Kim Bohr.

Here’s the DR’s full set of conductors:

Herbert Blomstedt 1967-1977

Lamberto Gardelli 1986-1988

Leif Segerstam 1988-1995

Ulf Schirmer 1995-1998

Gerd Albrecht 1999-2004

Thomas Dausgaard 2004-2012

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos 2012-2014

Fabio Luisi 2017-2023



  • collin says:

    “great passion for Carl Nielsen’s music”

    Never thought I’d see the word “passion” and “Nielsen” in the same sentence.

  • Pierre says:

    Fantastic conductor. His work in Zurich is outstanding too.

    • John Kelly says:

      Agreed. I miss him at the Met, even if only as a guest conductor. He seems able to conduct anything – Tosca, Wagner, Verdi. Just terrific.

      • AMetFan says:

        PG totally screwed him. I’m so happy for Maestro Luisi that he is welcomed and honored wherever he goes, and for all the right reasons. PG, on the other hand, is shunned.

  • MacroV says:

    It’s a great orchestra, as are all of the major Scandinavian bands. The question is, if he just got there, how long was his original contract if he’s now only extending to six years?

    And Nielsen is AWESOME!

    • Max Grimm says:

      His initial contract was for three years and this extension is for an additional three years.

    • Sue says:


    • Tamino says:

      Wondering how much he is actually working in Copenhagen? Somehow the Danish National passed under my radar until now, but there are some very good concert recordings of them on youtube, really impressive. So checking my chances for a weekend trip to Copenhagen and hearing that orchestra under Luisi.
      But I see only two upcoming concert programs this year. Isn’t that awfully few for a chief conductor?

  • Marcello M says:

    So he isn’t going to the Dallas Symphony as according to some rumors?

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I’ve never quite understood why the Dresden Staatskapelle seemed anxious to jettison F. Luisi. Rumor had it that he wasn’t prepared enough at rehearsals, but I find that hard to believe. I’m guessing it had something to do with differences in temperament, etc.

    I have several recordings with Luisi and the Staatskapelle, and they’re really excellent: Mahler 1 (dvd); Bruckner 9 (RCA); R. Strauss “Alpine” symphony (RCA).

  • Robin Mitchell-Boyask says:

    Philadelphia really should make him Principal Guest (the position is vacant). He is a sharp contrast to YNS and is the only living conductor who can get the Sawallisch sound.

  • Donald Hansen says:

    The Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra aka Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1925 but had no one was named Conductor, as you say, until Herbert Blomstedt in 1967. Many fine Nielsen recordings were made by it in the 78rpm and mono days with Erik Tuxen, Thomas Jensen and Launy Grondahl. Some might still be available on CD.

  • almaviva says:

    What a fine conductor – and such a noble human being! He is sorely missed at the Met…

  • Ricardo says:

    I wish we had some high profile chief conductor like this in Norway who would take a sincere interest in Sæverud, Valen, Egge, Irgens-Jensen, Hvoslef, Åm, Sivertsen, Hagerup Bull…