Gianluigi Gelmetti is one of today’s most prestigious conductors on the international scene.
Born in Rome, Italy, he was only 16 when Sergiu Celibidache let him conduct an orchestra for the first time then took him as his pupil. After completing his studies with Franco Ferrara and Hans Swarowski, he won the “Firenze” prize in 1967. Since his professional debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker, he regularly appears on the podium of the world’s most important opera houses, concert halls and festivals.
He was Principal Conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart) and the Schwetzingen Festival, for nine years then Music Director of Rome’ Teatro dell’Opera for nine more. In those same years, he also was Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
More recently, he was appointed principal conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, a post that he held until 2016, then becoming “Chef Honoraire” for life and being awarded monegasque citizenship by H.H. Prince Albert II.
Maestro Gelmetti particularly treasures the Italian and French operatic repertory of the 19th and 20th Century, including revivals and premieres of rarely performed works. In Italy, he has conducted numerous productions at the Rossini Opera Festival: Tancredi, La Gazza Ladra, Otello, Maometto II, receiving the “Rossini d’Oro” award with Guillaume Tell.
With the Rome Opera House he conducted, among many others, the World Premieres of Marie-Victoire and La Fiamma by Ottorino Respighi; Sakúntala by Franco Alfano, Iris by Pietro Mascagni.
He particularly treasures Mozart, having conducted Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro (was awarded the “Best Conductor of the Year” prize by Opernwelt), Così Fan Tutte and Die Zauberflöte.
Some of further lyric works that he conducted: Falstaff at the Opera of Monte -Carlo; Guillaume Tell in Pesaro, Zürich, Monte-Carlo and Paris; La Forza del Destino in Parma; Les Vêpres Siciliennes in Naples; Turandot in Tokyo; Il Barbiere di Siviglia and I Due Foscari in Toulouse; Un Ballo in Maschera, La Traviata in Trieste; La Fanciulla del West in Liège. Most recently, he conducted La Cenerentola for Rada Film and the direction of Carlo Verdone.
However, Maestro Gelmetti should not be labelled a “lyric conductor” since he also regularly conducts symphonic concerts at Europe, America and Asia’s most prestigious venues, his repertoire ranging from classical to contemporary.
He has led the most prestigious Orchestras, in Germany (Berlin, Bonn, Hamburg, Stuttgart, München, Köln, Dresden, Leipzig); in France (Paris, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lyon) in Spain (Madrid, Bilbao), in Italy (practically all), plus the Czech Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Copenhagen, Oslo… He also appears on podiums in China, Qatar, Oman…
He has severally performed in Japan, both lyric and symphonic repertoires, conducting the NHK, Yomiuri, Kyoto and Japan Philharmonic Orchestras.
His discographic catalogue, recorded mostly for EMI but also for SONY, RICORDI, FONIT, DECCA, TELDEC AND AGORÀ, shows the extent and complexity of his repertoire, including several operas by Rossini, Puccini and Mozart; Ravel orchestral music; Mozart Symphonies; and selected works by Stravinsky, Berg, Webern, Varèse and Rota. Recent releases include Bruckner’s Symphony n.6 and Rossini’s Stabat Mater.
Maestro Gelmetti is also a composer and a director. He has staged several operas: Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Cenerentola, L’Isola Disabitata (Haydn), Così fan Tutte, Tosca, La Rondine, Gianni Schicchi / Suor Angelica, Cavalleria Rusticana, la Traviata, Il Corsaro, Tristan und Isolde, most often directing and conducting them at the same time.
Finally, Gianluigi Gelmetti was named «Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres» in France, «Commandeur de l’Ordre du Mérite Culturel» in Monaco and «Cavaliere di Gran Croce» by Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.