And another maestro goes….

And another maestro goes….


norman lebrecht

May 07, 2020

It could well be a trend.

Mario Venzago resigned yesterday as music director in Berne, Switzerland, where he has been in charge since 2011.

Venzago, 71, seeks new horizons.

photo: Alberto Venzago

Lockdown is making musicians restless.


  • batonbaton says:

    Lockdown has also increased the level of your typos … “in charge since 2021” – I have heard of future-proofing but that runs counter to the argument of your post, Norman.

  • Herr Doktor says:

    I’ve never heard a Venzago performance live or in recording, but he was not well-received by the BSO here in Boston and was not invited back after one cycle of concerts that was not well-reviewed in the press. All that necessarily means is that he and the orchestra were not a good fit for whatever reason. But his reviews elsewhere that I’ve seen have been, let’s say, less than stellar.

    • Jean says:

      He’s just an amazing conductor. Perhaps you should listen before talking. For example his Bruckner, his Schoeck…

      • Jack says:

        To be frank, his Bruckner cycle on CPO is one of the worst I have ever heard. And I am not alone. If you check the reviews, most of those are very negative as well

      • Herr Doktor says:

        The reason why I never listened to his Bruckner recordings (because I buy and listen to ANY worthwhile Bruckner recordings that come out) is because my friends who have tell me they are horrific–the very worst they’ve heard (with all due respect to Roger Norrington’s Bruckner which previously occupied that niche). I’ve heard this from two different people who don’t know one another. Enough said.

      • Novagerio says:

        I disagree. I saw Venzago once in Gothenburg. He was “supposed” to conduct the complete score of Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin. He started with a sermon that went more or less like a religious speech, claiming that the end of the work is so brutal, that his personal religiousness couldn’t cope with it, so he cut the whole end of the score and replaced it with a Bach Choral in his own arrangement. I still can’t understand how such insanely preposterous nonsense could be allowed.
        I left the concert with frustration and the feeling of having witnessed a true charlatan.

  • Insider says:

    His departure is absolutely not related to the lockdown.

  • David34 says:

    He has been in charge “since 2021”?

  • trlgebeouw says:


  • Evan Tucker says:

    That title made me think Venzago died of coronavirus….

    What a shame that would be, that bizarre Bruckner cycle does not do him justice. He can be just as bizarre as he sounds on record, but live, he is one of those alive, spontaneous musicians whom in concert sounds completely inside the music as though he’s forgotten more about music than the rest of us will ever know. He should be as famous as any conductor in the world, and probably isn’t because he has a completely un-maestro-like personality that is incredibly funny and warm.

  • Pat says:

    At one time he was the conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for about 5 years. He left under a cloud but I don’t know what the problem was.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      He wasn’t very good? The donors didn’t like him? It is usually difficult to survive both of those.

  • Emanuele P says:

    I like his Bruckner. For once it sounds light and lively like Schumann. I think it’s an interesting new perspective. Not rubbish at all.

  • Andrew Swinnerton says:

    I had the pleasure of working with him only once and I have never experienced a better conductor for balance and intonation problems . It was a remarkable week !