The Board of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has today announced the appointment of 27-year-old Venezuelan conductor Diego Matheuz as its Principal Guest Conductor from 2013 for an initial period of three years.
Matheuz will succeed the current Principal Guest Conductor Tadaaki Otaka, who will continue his relationship with the MSO in forthcoming seasons.
”Diego made a huge impression on audience and Orchestra alike with his debut earlier this year,” said Melbourne Symphony Orchestra chairman Harold Mitchell. “We are thrilled that a conductor so clearly destined for great things will be playing a major part in the life of the Orchestra and Chorus.”
Matheuz, who was named by Gramophone magazine as one of the “new conductors on the verge of greatness”, joined the MSO for two electrifying concerts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl this February, thrilling the capacity crowds on both occasions.
“The two concerts in the Myer Bowl were an amazing experience for me; firstly because there were so many people in the audience and they became crazy, as if at a rock concert, and secondly because the feeling between the Orchestra and me was so very good. I am very proud of my job and also proud because I saw so many Venezuelan flags in the audience; it was wonderful,” Matheuz said.
“I am looking forward to being able to grow together with the MSO. I want to give to the Orchestra my experience, my energy, everything; I am sure they will give a lot to me also and I will learn a lot,” he continued.
Wilma Smith, Concertmaster of the MSO said “Diego Matheuz exploded onto the Myer Bowl stage this year, dazzling musicians and audience alike. It will be exciting to be part of the growth of this charismatic young Venezuelan’s international career.”
A graduate of the Venezuelan El Sistema program, Matheuz made his debut with Claudio Abbado’s Orchestra Mozart in Bologna in October 2008 and was appointed Principal Guest Conductor the following year. In September 2009 he joined the Santa Cecilia Orchestra as replacement for their music director, Antonio Pappano, for a tour of Milan, Turin and Lucerne. He continues a close relationship with both these orchestras during coming seasons, with regular appearances throughout Italy. In 2010 he made his professional opera debut conducting Rigoletto at La Fenice in Venice, and was appointed Principal Conductor there in September 2011. During 2012 he conducts La traviata and Rigoletto at the theatre. During the next twelve months Diego Matheuz will make appearances with international orchestras in London, Paris, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and Tokyo.
Matheuz will conduct the MSO for its mid-season Festival in 2013, and then return for three weeks in both 2014 and 2015.