Künstlersekretariat - Astrid Schoerke

Mario Venzago

“In Robert Schumann’s Spring Symphony, even the clarity is mixed with something mysterious. When he holds the final chord of the third movement surprisingly long and finally sinks into nothingness, Venzago creates a magical moment of pause before things inexorably take their course in the powerfully optimistic finale.”

Conducting is the greatest fulfillment of Mario Venzago’s life – he has wanted to do it from an early age. Imagination and a willingness to take risks characterize his very own style and have allowed him to conduct concerts, recordings, operas and, for some years now, increasingly his own compositions around the world.

Mario Venzago was, until summer 2021 and for 11 years, the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bern Symphony Orchestra. Before that, we was Principal Conductor or General Music Director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Basque National Orchestra in San Sebastian, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Graz Opera und Graz Philharmonic Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Frankfurt (now Bremen), the Theatre and Philharmonic Orchestra of the City of Heidelberg and the Musikkollegium Winterthur. From 2010 to 2014 he was Principal Conductor of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, from 2010 to 2019 Artist in Association of the Finnish Tapiola Sinfonietta and from 2000 to 2003 Artistic Director of the Baltimore Summer Fest, as successor to Pinchas Zukermann and David Zinman.

The season 2023/24 will take him to the Oregon and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestras, to Asia to the Yomiuri Nippon, Singapore and KBS Symphony Orchestras, to the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Halle, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and many others.
Mario Venzago has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the orchestras in Philadelphia and Boston, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Filarmonica della Scala and the NHK Symphony Orchestra. He is a regular guest conductor with internationally renowned orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the Frankfurter Museumsorchester. He has given concerts with the world’s most famous soloists, and collaborated with directors such as Ruth Berghaus, Peter Konwitschny and Hans Neuenfels.

Several of his CDs have won international prizes such as the Grand Prix du Disque, the Diapason d’or and the Edison Award. His recordings of the operas Venus and Penthesilea and of all choral works by Othmar Schoeck with the MDR choir and symphony orchestra received great international recognition and prestigious awards, as did his first film, My Brother the Conductor by Alberto Venzago, which was shown in cinemas across Europe and released on DVD. The project The other Bruckner with the recording of all ten symphonies, whose individual releases were acclaimed by international critics, was released by CPO. A collaboration with Sony Classical led to the spectacular recording of Franz Schubert’s Finished Unfinished Symphony with the Kammerorchester Basel, completed and conducted by Mario Venzago, as well as the recording of all serenades and symphonies by Johannes Brahms. His most recent CD projects have been recordings of Othmar Schoeck’s opera Schloss Dürande in a new version with the Bern Symphony Orchestra, the cantata Vom Fischer un syner Fru with the Musikkollegium Winterthur (both Claves) and the recording of Schubert’s reconstructed 7th Symphony with the Bern Symphony Orchestra (Prospero). In June 2023, the recording of the suite from Bernard Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra has been released on Chandos Records.

In addition to his activity as a conductor, Mario Venzago recently has increasingly devoted himself to his passion for composing. In 2021 he premiered his violin concerto with Soyoung Yoon and the Bern Symphony Orchestra. Currently, various works by Mario Venzago are in preparation for publication by Universal Edition, including two operas.

Season 2023/2024 | Photo: Alberto Venzago| Quotation: Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, March 21st 2023
Amendments or edits need the consent of Künstlersekretariat Astrid Schoerke GmbH


A warm welcome to Mario Venzago!

28 May 2024

We are delighted to welcome conductor Mario Venzago and to accompany him on his further artistic journey! The Swiss conductor has decades of experience in conducting renowned international […] more ...

Program examples orchestra

17 May 2024

Signature programs      Program 1 M. Venzago Violin concerto Bruckner Symphony No. 4 E-flat major WAB 104 Romantic Program 2 J. S. Bach Toccata and fugue in […] more ...

Mario Venzago – own compositions

17 May 2024

Mario Venzago has always composed, initially as spiritual exercises for acquiring greater knowledge. Lately though he found more time to devote himself to this engrossing activity and is […] more ...

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Examples for orchestra programs

Program 1
M. Venzago Violin concerto
Bruckner Symphony No. 4 E-flat major WAB 104 Romantic

Program 2
J. S. Bach Toccata and fugue in D minor (orch. L. Stokowksy)
Berg 3 Orchesterstücke op. 6
Ravel Daphnis und Chloe, 2. Suite (with or without choir)
Ravel La Valse

Program 3
A. Honegger Symphony No. 3 Symphonie liturgique 
Rosenberg Symphony No. 3
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 E-flat major op. 55 Eroica

Program 4
R. Schumann Symphony No. 3 E-flat major op. 97 Rheinische
R. Schumann Symphony No. 2 C major op. 61

Program 5
Webern Passacaglia op. 1
Mozart Symphony No. 38 D major K 504 Prague
Brahms Symphony No. 3 F major op. 90

Venzago-Violinkonzert (youtube.com)


Suite from Wuthering Heights
Bernard Herrmann: Wuthering Heights-Suite for soprano, baritone & orchestra + Ecoes for Strings
Partner: Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Chandos 11503420 (2023)

Schubert: Symphony No. 7
Franz Schubert: Symphony E major No. 7 (in the reconstruction by Richard Dünser 2020 after D.729/708/936)
Partner: Bern Symphony Orchestra
Prospero 10797843 (2022)

Kurt Leimer
Piano Concerto No. 3 for piano left hand & orchestra
Richard Strauss: Panathäenzug op. 74 for piano left hand & orchestra
Partner: Bern Symphony Orchestra + Gilles Vonsattel, piano
Schweizer Fonogramm 10721630 (2021)

The Dürande Castle
Othmar Schoeck: The Dürande Castle op. 52
Partner: Bern Symphony Orchestra
Claves Records 9018244 (2019)

Vom Fischer un Syner Fru
Othmar Schoeck: Vom Fischer un Syner Fru (Dramatic Cantata) op. 43
Partner: Musikkollegium Winterthur + Rachel Harnisch, Jörg Dürmüller, Jordan Shanahan
Claves Records 9005465 (2019)

Carmen (Live Film Recording)
Georges Bizet: Carmen (Opera)
Recording from the Konzert Theater Bern, directed by Stephan Märki
Partner: Bern Symphony Orchestra
Arthaus Musik 10348338 (2018)

The Finished „Unfinished“
Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 8 D. 759 “The Unfinished”, reconstructed by Mario Venzago
Partner: Basel Chamber Orchestra
Sony Classical (2017)

Anton Bruckner: Symphonies
Symphony No. 0 D minor (2nd version 1869)
Symphony No. 1 C minor (1st version Linz 1865/66)
Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Pausensinfonie” (2nd version 1877)
Symphony No. 3 in D minor “Wagner Symphony” (3rd version 1889)
Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major “Romantic” (version 1879/80)
Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major (1878 version)
Symphony No. 6 in A major
Symphony No. 7 in E major
Symphony No. 8 in C minor “Apocalyptic” (2nd version 1890)
Symphony No. 9 in D minor “Dem lieben Gott”
Partner: Bern Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, “Konzerthausorchester Berlin”, Northern Sinfonia & Basel Symphony Orchestra
CPO 8455706 (2016)

Arthur Honegger
Rugby (Mouvement symphonique No. 2)
Symphony No. 3 “Liturgique”
Symphony No. 5 “Di tre re”
Partner: Bern Symphony Orchestra
Musiques Suisses 4198294 (2016)

Dvořák & Gershwin
Antonín Dvořák: Violin Concerto op.53
George Gershwin: An American in Paris
Partner: Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra + Liza Ferschtman, violin
Challenge (2011)

Janáček | Bartók | Strauss
Leoš Janáček: Sinfonietta op. 60
Béla Bartók: “The Miraculous Mandarin” op. 19
Richard Strauss: “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks” based on an old rogue’s tale in rondo form for large orchestra
Partner: “Bundesjugendorchester” (National Youth Orchestra of Germany)
Westdeutscher Rundfunk (2010)

Sofia Gubaidulina
The Deceitful Face of Hope and of Despair
The Seven Last Words
Partners: Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra + Sharon Bezaly (flute), Torleif Thedeen (cello), Mie Miki (accordion)
BIS Records 5448199 (2006)

A Different Schumann, Vol. 3
Manfred Overture op. 115
Concert piece for piano and orchestra in F major, after op. 86
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major op. 97 “Rhenish”
Partner: Basel Symphony Orchestra + Paolo Bordoni, piano
Novalis 76199150165-2 (2002)

A Different Schumann, Vol. 2
Symphony No. 2 C major op. 61
Symphony No. 1 B-flat major op. 38 “Spring Symphony”
Partner: Basel Symphony Orchestra
Novalis 761991501 64-2 (2002)

A Different Schumann, Vol. 1
Ouverture Scherzo and Finale, Piano Concerto (original version)
Fantasy A minor for piano and orchestra (Rev. Cascioli, Venzago)
Symphony No. 4 in D minor op. 120
Partner: Basel Symphony Orchestra + Gianluca Cascioli, piano
Novalis 76199150163-2 (2001)

Luigi Nono
Variazioni Canoniche Sulla Serie Dell’ op. 41 di
Varianti music for soloviolin,strings & wind ins
No Hay Caminos, Hay Que Caminar for 7 horns
Incontri Per 24 Strumenti
Partner: Basel Symphony Orchestra
Col Legno 4379961 (2002)

Giuseppe Englert
Chaconne for piano & orchestra
Schubert: Piano Sonata D. 613
Partner: Basel Symphony Orchestra + Christoph Keller, piano
Musiques Suisses 3449291 (2001)

Vogel + Suter- Violin Concertos
Wladimir Vogel : Concerto For Violin And Orchestra (Conductor: Jürg Wittenbach)
Hermann Suter: Concerto A major for violin and orchestra op. 23
Partner: Orchestre Chambre de Lausanne
Musikszene Schweiz/ MGB CD 6169 (2000)

Othmar Schoeck: Opera Penthesilea op.39
Soloists : Yvonne Naef, James Johnson, Ute Trekel, etc.
Partners: Basel Symphony Orchestra & Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno
Pan Classics  PAN 510 118-2 (2000)

Schumann | Berg | Strauss
Robert Schumann: Symphony No. 4 in D minor op. 120
Alban Berg: 3 orchestral pieces op. 6
Richard Strauss: “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks” after an old rogue’s tale – in rondo form – for large orchestra
Partner: “Bundesjugendorchester” (National Youth Orchestra of Germany)
Ars Musici AMP 5102-2 (2000)

Roland Moser
Wortabend (Scene for 2 voices and ensemble)
Whale for heavy orchestra with 5 saxophones
Partner: Basel Symphony Orchestra & Radio Symphony Orchestra Basel
Musiques Suisses 3361054 (2000)

Carlos Alvarez
Opera Arias Bask
Partner: Basque National Orchestra
Claves Records  50-9907 (1999)

Raffaele d’ Alessandro
Symphony No. 1 D minor op. 62
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 3 op. 70 “Quasi una Sinfonia”
12 Preludes for piano from op. 30
Partner: Basel Symphony Orchestra + Karl-Andreas Kolly, piano
pan classics 7941380 (1997)

Othmar Schoeck: Venus, opera in 3 acts by Armin Rüeger
Partners: „Philharmonische Werkstatt“ Switzerland, „Knabenkantorei Basel“ (Basel Boys Choir) & Chamber Choir Heidelberg
Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund CD 6112 (1992)

Joseph Joachim Raff
Joachim Raff: Symphony No. 11 A minor “Winter” op. 214
Partner: Radio Symphony Orchestra Basel
Ex libris CD 6098 (1989)

World Premiere of Mario Venzago’s Violin Concerto

Mario Venzago – Bruckner Symphony No. 5

Mario Venzago – Carmen Movie

Mein Bruder, der Dirigent (Trailer), Alberto Venzago

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