JOSEPH  SWENSEN   Main Guest Conductor

Joseph Swensen is Artistic Director of the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra (Wroclaw), Conductor Emeritus of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada and Artistic Partner of the Northwest Sinfonietta (USA). A sought-after pedagogue, Joseph Swensen teaches conducting, violin and chamber music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. He has previously served as Principal Guest Conductor & Artistic Adviser of the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris (2009-2012), Principal Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (1996-2005) and Principal Conductor of Malmö Opera (2005-2011).

Recognized for forging solid bonds with orchestras, this season will see Swensen appearing with his closest partners, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música and Northwest Sinfonietta. In addition, Swensen will return to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. While conducting major works of the great romantic repertoire with large symphony orchestras, for his first season as Artistic Director of the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra, Joseph Swensen has unveiled adventurous and innovative programmes that bring together the classical and contemporary eras, juxtaposing Mozart with Berg or CPE Bach with Pärt and Larcher as well as featuring Polish composers such as Lutoslawski, Penderecki and Gorecki.

During his nine-year tenure with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Swensen and the orchestra toured extensively in the US, UK, Europe and the Far East. They performed together at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, Tanglewood and Ravinia Festivals, the BBC Proms, the Barbican and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. With the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Swensen appeared at the “Festival de Radio France” in Montpellier and “La Folle Journée” de Nantes et Tokyo. As Principal Conductor of the Malmö Opera in Sweden, Swensen conducted highly acclaimed productions, notably rarely staged ones such as MacbethVanessaThe Dialogues of the Carmelites and La Fanciulla del West, alongside SalomeLa BohemeLa TraviataMadame Butterfly among others.

Before launching his conducting career in the mid-1990s, Swensen enjoyed a highly successful career as a violin soloist appearing with the world’s major orchestras and conductors. As an exclusive recording artist with BMG Classics he recorded the Beethoven violin concerto with André Prévin and the Royal Philharmonic and the Sibelius violin concerto with Jukka Pekka Saraste and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. The violinist and conductor naturally meet in the art of play-direct. With a special interest in exploring and developing this art, Swensen has extended the repertoire far beyond the classical period, directing from the violin concertos by composers such as Brahms, Barber and Prokofiev. His series of recordings for Linn Records featuring Brahms, Mendelssohn and Prokofiev’s second concerto, with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra were internationally acclaimed. With the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Swensen created the first ‘Paris Play-Direct Academy’ in May 2011.

A multifaceted musician, as a composer Swensen’s works include Mantram (1998) for string orchestra, Latif (1999) for solo cello with chamber ensemble, Shizue (2001) for solo shakuhachi and orchestra, and the Sinfonia-Concertante for Horn and Orchestra (The Fire and the Rose) (2008). Swensen’s Sinfonia in B (2007), an orchestration of the rarely performed 1854 version of Brahms’ Trio Op. 8, has been recorded for Signum Records.

Joseph and Victoria Swensen present year-round workshops and offer residencies for chamber-music, conducting and instrumental study at their 250-year old, 15 room farmhouse in Vermont. ( An American of Norwegian and Japanese descent, Joseph Swensen was born in Hoboken, New Jersey and grew up in Harlem, New York City.




Giancarlo Andretta is an Italian conductor with an extremely wide experience in the Opera field. Most recently, from 2010 until 2013 he has hold the position of Principal Conductor and consultant at the Gothenburg Opera House. From 2013 until 2012 he has been Chief Conductor of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra (DK) and from 2001 till 2010 principal guest conductor at the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen.

Previously he was from 1994 till 1997 Principal Conductor and consultant of the Graz Opera (A) wich he left to take the position as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza (1996-2003) and Orchestra Filarmonia Veneta (2000-2002).

He is designed as “principal guest conductor” of the Granada Symphony Orchestra.

Andretta studied organ, piano and composition in Venice and conducting and Korrepetition praxis in Vienna where he graduated “Cum Laude” and was awarded distinguished prizes. He then began his career as solo repetitor and principal couch for the Italian repertoire at the Vienna State Opera aswell as chief couch at the Salzburg Summer Festival (1990-1994). In those years (1990-1995) he was also assitent of Pinchas Steinberg at the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

He was awarded several national and international prices as for example the “Wuerdigung Preis 1989” from the Austrian Ministry of Culture and the “Richard Wagner Preis 1989”.

He has been and makes regular apparencies as guest conductor in concert halls and opera houses all over Europe including Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, Munich, Dresden, Amsterdam, Antwerpen, Copenhagen, Stokholm, Oslo, Tampere, Dublin, Prague, Budapest, Athen, Lisbon, Venice, Rome, Verona, Parma, Ravenna, Granada etc.

He has recorded with the Teatro La Fenice Orchestra in Venice, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra as well the Basel Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto.

In 2005 he was appointed professor for orchestral conducting at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, position he kept till 2010. he has been professor for Piano and assistent ptofessor for Korrepetition Praxis at the Academy of Music in Vienna (1990-1994). Furthermore he frequently gave and gives master classes in all Europe fro Instituitions as the Vienna University of Music, Oslo Academy of Music, Gothenburg University, Copenhagen Opera Studio etc. Since 2011 he is professor for orchestral conducting at the Conservatorio “A. Pedrollo” di Vicenza.

Future engagements include: Bellini’s “I Puritani” at the Tivoli Summer Festival in Copenhagen, Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” at the Zurich Opera House, Rossini “La Cenerentola” at the Gothenburg Opera House, Bellini’s “La Straniera” at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Verdi’s “I due Foscari” at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and concerts in Copenhagen, Goteborg, Milano, Granada, Padova and Aarhus (DK).

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