Fabio Luisi has been named the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s music director.
The orchestra announced that the 59-year-old Italian conductor would succeed Jaap van Zweden, who will become the New York Philharmonic’s music director.
In a press release, Luisi announced that over the next years he will reduce his contracts in Europe, where he is the principal conductor of three companies, in order to expand his time in Dallas from five to 10 or more weeks by 2021.
He noted, “When I came, I knew they were searching for a new principal conductor. I knew it was a good orchestra, but the quality of the orchestra, and the spirit in the orchestra, went way beyond my expectations. And it’s a great hall, a very warm hall. When I entered the stage, I felt very welcome, at home somehow. When [DSO president and CEO Kim Notelmy and vice president of artistic operations Peter Czorny] approached me after the concert, I said, ‘OK, let’s talk about it.'”
Luisi is best known in the U.S. for taking a tenure as the principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera where he served from 2011 to 2017. He left the post in order to become principal conductor of the Danish National Symphony and this year, he became the music director of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, an April to July Music and Dance festival. He is also the music director of the Zurich Opera.
His five-year contract will begin in 2019-20, with five weeks that season as music director-designate. He is slated to take over fully as music director in 2020-21 when he’ll conduct seven weeks. In the following three season, he will lead the ensemble for 10 or more weeks.