principal conductor of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra
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 leads the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra as Principal Conductor (since 2018), the Ukho Ensemble (specialized in contemporary music, since 2015 ) and the Baroque vocal ensemble La Dolce Maniera. With a great passion for medieval painting; Dante and Cavalcanti; the cinema of Tarkovsky 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.
With his Ukho Ensemble Luigi recently conducted three sold-out opera productions at the Ukrainian National Opera and recorded critically acclaimed monographic CDs dedicated to Gervasoni (Winter & Winter), Hosokawa and Andreyev (Kairos) and Solbiati (EMA Vinci Records). Under Luigi’s leadership, the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra has quickly become one of the most respected musical ensembles in Ukraine. In 2022, the orchestra will begin a collaboration with the prestigious international agency KD Schmid—the first Eastern European Orchestra to have this honour. As director of La Dolce Maniera, Luigi offers 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, Contrechamps…), under the direction of Abbado, Barenboim, Boulez, Harnoncourt, Holliger, Muti, Nagano, Ono, Pappano, Poppen and Rattle.
As a guest conductor of several European orchestras and ensembles 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 Kiev, 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, Eva Rabchevksa and Geneviève Strosser. In October 2021, Luigi had the honour to be invited by the Orchestrei de Cameră Timișoara to conduct its first concert.
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.
Luigi Gaggero 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.
Born in Genova, Luigi resides on the French Riviera.