Tommaso PLACIDI

conductor
biography

Winner of the Besançon International Conducting Competition in 1992 and of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London in 1996, Tommaso Placidi was in 1996 also awarded the Cesare Alfieri Prize by Mrs Cristina Muti.

In May 2006 he conducted Gounod's Roméo et Juliette at the Spoleto Festival in the US with Nicole Cabell, the 2005 winner of Cardiff Singer of the World. The Toronto Globe & Mail said of the performance, « Opera companies around the world should kidnap conductor Tommaso Placidi. Italian-born and Swiss-based, Placidi makes Gounod's 1865 overly wrought music sound like the greatest opera ever written, achingly beautiful and intensely dramatic. The Spoleto orchestra is made up of young musicians culled from the best conservatories in the United States and the wannabe professionals play their hearts out for Placidi. It is the best-sounding orchestra I have heard in all my Spoleto years. Placidi reaches into Gounod and literally pulls out the heart strings ».

In 2006 Tommaso Placidi made his China debut, conducting the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra with cellist Nina Kotova.

After studying the piano at the Geneva Conservatory with Louis Hiltbrand and Maria Tipo, Tommaso Placidi studied conducting with Otmar Suitner at the Vienna Music Academy as well as with Guennadi Rozhdestvensky and Ferdinand Leitner at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena.

From 1996 to 1998 he was Assistant Conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra and worked with Sir Colin Davies, Sir Georg Solti, Mstislav Rostropovich, Riccardo Chailly and Andre Previn, with whom he shared the baton at the Euro '96 Opening Gala Concert at the Barbican.

Tommaso Placidi has performed with numerous orchestras across Europe, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Strasbourg, Liège and Luxembourg Philharmonics, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, RAI Turin, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine and many others. His conducting of the new productions of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and l'Elisir d'Amore at the Holland Park Festival in London was widely acclaimed.

Always greatly interested in contemporary works, he conducted the world première of The Creatures Indoors by Stephen Montague with the London Symphony Orchestra and of Cori Spezzati by Michel Fourgon with the Liège Philharmonic. In 2007 he also conducted Le Petit Prince by Fabio Maffei with the Wroclaw Philharmonic.

In 2004, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of CERN in Geneva, Tommaso Placidi conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a Gala Concert at the Victoria Hall with soloist Maxim Vengerov.

On the occasion of the 3rd World Climate Conference in Geneva in September 2009, he conducted the Vienna Symphony Orchestra with soloists Julian Rachlin, Torleif Thedéen and Itamar Golan.

In July 2010 Tommaso Placidi conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a Gala Concert for the International AIDS 2010 Congress in Vienna with soloist Torleif Thedéen.

In October 2011 he  conducted in Rome and L'Aquila the very first concerts of the new austrian chamber orchestra Concertino WIEN. Tommaso Placidi has also conducted New Year's concerts in Quebec-City and Montreal for the 2012 Salute to Vienna.

In December 2012 he had the opportunity to conduct the Vienna Chamber Orchestra in a prestigious Christmas concert for italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome.

Tommaso Placidi has a very close collaboration with austrian composer Roland Baumgartner and has recently recorded the highlights of his new opera Maria Theresia with the Bratislava Radio Orchestra and soloists & choir of the Bratislava Opera House.

Further projects include a Concert for Peace In Memoriam 1. World War in October in Vienna with the Symphonia Globalis by Roland Baumgartner and in November with the Orchestre Colonne in Reims and Paris. A Gala Concert for the Swisstransplant Foundation is also scheduled in Geneva and Zürich, October 2015.

Tommaso Placidi has recorded with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester and the NDR Hannover with clarinettist Steven Kanoff (ASV label), as well as with the Concertino WIEN, the Bratislava Radio Orchestra, the Craïova Symphony Orchestra and the Castagneri Quartet.


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Reviews
Buon Natale dai Wiener
2012-12-11 Rinascita,
"... Qui, nel Concerto di Natale offerto al Capo dello Stato, sul podio abbiamo avuto modo di apprezzare Tommaso Placidi, un direttore italiano poco noto nel nostro Paese dove vigono le leggi assurde delle agenzie che impongono i loro nomi, sempre gli stessi, spingendo di fatto tanti artisti di casa nostra a percorrere la via dell' emigrazione in cerca di fama, ma in primis in cerca di lavoro. E loro vanno e vincono concorsi internazionali (1992 il I° Premio di Besançon per giovani direttori d'orchestra, quattro anni dopo il I° Premio al Donatella Flick Conducting Competition di Londra), e dirigono orchestre illustri come la Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, la London Simphony, i Wiener Symphoniker, le filarmoniche di Strasburgo, di Liegi, della Svizzera romanda e nel Canada, negli Stati Uniti e in Cina. Un percorso a volo d'uccello nella biografia di Tommaso che sul podio del Quirinale è alla testa della formazione cameristica dei Wiener che con i suoi cento concerti annui è una delle realtà musicali più interessanti del suo paese. Placidi ha gesto ampio, elegante, coinvolgente, che sa con leggero ma fermo cenno moderare qualche empito giovanile di troppo del suo violinista, cui l'età e la passione sconfinata per la musica offrono entusiasmanti scorciatoie verso il virtuosismo. La qualità raffinata del direttore è testimoniata dalla scelta del programma, che si apre sulle note di cullante bellezza della "Siciliana", tratta dalla Suite n.3 per Archi dalle Antiche Arie e Danze di Ottorino Respighi. Un brano che Placidi affronta in modo limpido, chiaro.
Kerson Leong ... sorretto da un padrino d'eccezione come il maestro Placidi, affronta la malinconia delicatamente crepuscolare dell'Andante Cantabile ...
... Qui ogni singolo strumento diventa indispensabile, valorizzato al massimo dalla strumentazione accuratissima, che deve essere affidata davvero alla devozione e alla bravura del direttore.
"
(Franzina Ancona)
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Vienne: toujours la même chose... ou presque
2012-01-01 La Presse, Montréal
"... Le chef invité, Tommaso Placidi, est un musicien intéressant qu'on aimerait retrouver un jour. Il présente les pièces avec humour, dans un français et un anglais excellents - il garde le micro un peu trop longtemps cependant! -- , et il communique à l'orchestre tout entier le plaisir qu'il prend à diriger cette musique, qu'il s'agisse de la Cavalerie légère de Von Suppé, de la Pizzicato Polka ou du fameux Beau Danube bleu servi en rappel. ... Peu importe que l'orchestre soit d'ici puisque le chef lui imprime le style viennois approprié."
(Claude Gingras)
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Canada's next great tenor is cooking French
2006-05-29 The Globe and Mail, Toronto
"... Opera companies around the world should kidnap conductor Tommaso Placidi. Italian-born and Swiss-based, Placidi makes Gounod's 1865 overly wrought music sound like the greatest opera ever written, achingly beautiful and intensely dramatic. The Spoleto orchestra is made up of young musicians culled from the best conservatories in the United States and the wannabe professionals play their hearts out for Placidi. It is the best-sounding orchestra I have heard in all my Spoleto years. Placidi reaches into Gounod and literally pulls out the heart strings."
(Paula Citron)
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