Mario Venzago

Mario Venzago ( born July 1, 1948 in Zurich ) is a Swiss pianist and conductor.

Study and pianist

Mario Venzago comes from a Italian / German family. His brother is Zurich photographer and filmmaker Alberto Venzago. Venzago began his career as a pianist at a very early age of five. He studied in Zurich at the music school and the university. He was Dirigierschüler by Erich Schmid, the predecessor of Simon Rattle as chief conductor in Birmingham. Initially, he worked as a concert pianist, which he had to travel a lot. Then he got a permanent job in broadcasting the Italian-speaking Switzerland ( RTSI ). From this period of his work are recordings. Venzago completed his conducting studies in Vienna with Hans Swarovsky and began to conduct in Lugano.

From 1978 to 1986 he was for eight years conductor of the Winterthur City Orchestra, then until 1989 he was Music Director of the City of Heidelberg and later, among others, principal conductor of the German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen, the Graz Opera, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Basque National Orchestra San Sebastian from 2002 to 2009 he was music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (USA), 2004-2007 also chief conductor of the Swedish National Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. 1997 - 2001 and 2005 - 2007 he held a professorship at the Staatliche Musikhochschule in Mannheim. He lives in Heidelberg. Since 2008, Mario Venzago held the position " Schumann guest of the Düsseldorf Symphony " and from the 2010/11 season he has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Bern Symphony Orchestra.


Guest Conductor

  • Mario Venzago has many distinguished orchestras and conducts on famous festivals, including the Berlin Philharmonic. At the Salzburg Festival and the Lucerne Festival
  • He is also a regular guest conductor in Birmingham, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Munich ( Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra ), the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the NHK Tokyo, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony Orchestras.
  • Venzago has on several operas conducted while working with directors such as Ruth Berghaus and Peter Konwitschny.
  • He has performed with great soloists, among others, with Martha Argerich, Bell, Freire, Josephowicz, Gidon Kremer, Lang -Lang, Levin, Lupu, Maisky, Anne- Sophie Mutter, Nicolet, Ohlson, Pletnev, Shaham, helmsman, Tetzlaff, Maxim Vengerov, Zehtmair, K.Zimerman or FP carpenter and worked with famous singers like Araiza, Banse, Baltsa, Haefliger, Heppner, Kalisch, Naef, Moser, Lucia Popp and Ruth Ziesak.
  • He founded in Switzerland, the Philharmonic workshop, a freelance symphony orchestra.
  • Venzago created - on the basis of sources - own orchestral version of Igor Stravinsky's " Les Noces ".
  • He also brought its own ( original ) version of the " Glagolitic Mass " ( " Glagolitic mše " ), a cantata for soloists, chorus, orchestra and organ ( 1926) by Leoš Janáček out.
  • 2000/ 01 ( Milan ): conductor at La Scala.
  • 2000/ 01 ( London): Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • 2003 ( Philadelphia ): Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
  • 2004 ( Boston): Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.


  • Grand Prix du Disque
  • Diapason d'Or
  • Edison Prize
  • 2007: Honorary Conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the City of Heidelberg


  • Recording of the complete symphonic works of Robert Schumann, Basel Symphony Orchestra; Label: novalis
  • Luigi Nono: Orchestral works; Label: col legno
  • Maurice Ravel: Orchestral Works, 2003; Label: novalis
  • Othmar Schoeck: Venus and Penthesilea ( opera )