artistic and musical director of the Ukho Ensemble Kyiv
full professor at the Strasbourg Conservatory and at the Strasbourg Academy of Music
It is by feeling the deep need for a constant dialogue between classical, contemporary and ancient music that Luigi Gaggero, a native of Genoa, leads as Chief Conductor the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra, the Ukho Ensemble (specialized in contemporary music) and the Baroque vocal ensemble La Dolce Maniera. With a great passion for medieval painting; Dante and Cavalcanti; the cinema of Bergman and Tarr; Bach, Mozart and Kurtág; Heidegger and Nietzsche, Luigi is sensitive to artists who express the transcendent in art. Based on the empathetic encounter between the performer, the composer and the audience, his interpretations are moving and colourful.
Under Luigi’s leadership, the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra has quickly become one of the most respected musical ensembles in Ukraine and has been the first Eastern European Orchestra to start a collaboration with the prestigious German agency KD Schmid. Luigi has conducted his Orchestra in some of the most important European concert halls, like Berliner Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Dresden Kulturpalast, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Cité de la Musique in Paris, Wolkenturm in Grafenegg and Warsaw Philharmonic. These sold-out concerts have received great critical acclaim by the worldwide press. In 2022 Luigi and KSO have received the honour of being invited to play at the NATO summit in Madrid and of being awarded the "Musical Contest" Prize of the Fondation Prince Pierre of Monaco.
With his Ukho Ensemble Luigi conducted three sold-out opera productions at the National Opera of Ukraine and recorded CDs dedicated to Gervasoni (Winter & Winter), Hosokawa and Andreyev (Kairos) and Solbiati (EMA Vinci Records). As director of La Dolce Maniera, Luigi offered innovative interpretations in the field of Early Music (two CDs dedicated to Monteverdi and Gesualdo released by Stradivarius); Vittorio Ghielmi praised ‘these fresh interpretations which, far from any museumification, closely recall the chiaroscuro of Caravaggio and baroque sculpture, letting this music come powerfully to life before our eyes’.
Before launching his conducting career, Luigi performed for 25 years as a cimbalom player and percussionist, collaborating with the finest European orchestras and ensembles (Berliner Philharmoniker, Münchner Philharmoniker, Filarmonica della Scala, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland, Philharmonia Orchestra London, Camerata Salzburg, Finnish Radio Orchestra, Orchestre du Théâtre de La Monnaie, Orchestre de Radio France; Ensembles InterContemporain, Modern, Scharoun, musikfrabrik, Spectra, Notabu, Contrechamps…), under the direction of Abbado, Altinoglu, Barenboim, Boulez, Eötvös, Gatti, Harnoncourt, Muti, Nagano, Nott, Ono, Pappano, Petrenko and Rattle.
As a guest conductor of several European orchestras and ensembles (Orchestre de l'Opéra de Nice, Ensemble Proton Bern, Ensemble L'Imaginaire, Les Temps modernes, Orchestra Mozart Kyiv) and as an instrumentalist, Luigi has performed in important concert halls and festivals throughout Europe, the United States and China (Philharmonics in Berlin, Paris and Kyiv, Milano Musica, Carnegie Hall, Salzburger Festspiele, BBC Proms, Biennale di Venezia, Klangspuren, DeSingel…) and has collaborated with artists such as Juliane Banse, Muriel Cantoreggi, Mario Caroli, Marino Formenti, David Grimal, Niek de Groot, Barbara Hannigan, Maria Husmann, András Keller, Ludwig Quandt, Geneviève Strosser and Diana Tishchenko.
Luigi Gaggero studied percussion and conducting with Andrea Pestalozza, who led him to the enthusiastic discovery of 20th century music; cimbalom with Márta Fábián, and, studying with Edgar Guggeis and Rainer Seegers, was the first percussionist to receive the Soloist Diploma with honors at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin.
A passionate pedagogue, Luigi Gaggero holds regular Conducting Masterclasses and is professor of cimbalom at the Conservatoire and at the Académie Supérieure de Musique in Strasbourg, where he also founded and conducted the Academy's Contemporary Music Ensemble. His book A Natural Gesture - Thoughts on Musical Praxis and Conducting is soon to be published by Wolke Verlag.
(IX 2023, Not to be altered without permission)