Stefan Lano

“Stefan Lano and the Staatskapelle Weimar created breath-taking soundscapes throughout the performance in which every moment was loaded with dramatic tension, energy and the emotion so endemic to Berg’s music. Were it only for the opportunity to hear this orchestra and this conductor, a trip to the Weimar LULU would be worth the travel.”
(MDR-Leipzig, 2017)

“There are outstanding musicians at work here, and when Stefan Lano conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden, the sound is simply sublime: wonderful balance within the orchestra and between orchestra and stage; a clear enjoyment in creating unusual orchestral effects; and a complete artistic commitment crowned with chamber music-like finesse.”
(Dresdner Neuste Nachrichten, 2009)

“The present version of Wozzeck continues the tradition set by Böhm, Leinsdorf and Leitner and will, for this reason, remain among our most precious memories. Stefan Lano conducted again with the mastery he demonstrated two years ago in the LULU production. As his predecessors on the podium for WOZZECK, Lano conducted a precise and especially passionate reading which was, in every respect, exemplary. The Colon orchestra was in fine form and the perfect communication between the intelligent conductor and capable instrumentalists was clear to see and hear.”
(Correo Musicale Argentina, 1995)

“Stefan Lano mastered every aspect of this most demanding score. Conductors such as Karl Böhm (1952), Ferdinand Leitner (1958) and Erich Leinsdorf (1969) have stood before this orchestra. Stefan Lano is to be regarded as of the same stature.”
(Clarin, Buenos Aires, 1995)

Integrating his work as composer with his conducting assignments, Stefan Lano has established himself as an ardent proponent in both concert and opera of fin-de-siecle and contemporary repertoire. Following his internationally-praised rendition of Alban Berg’s Lulu at the German National Theater & Staatskapelle Weimar in January 2017, he remained for three seasons as First Kapellmeister at that prestigious institution. His professional career began at the Graz Opera as Repetiteur followed by an extended tenure on the Music Staff of the Vienna State Opera in the 1980s. Lorin Maazel appointed him Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1988. In 1993, he conducted the first Latin American production of the three-act version of Berg’s Lulu at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires where, in the ensuing seasons, he conducted productions of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, Richard Strauss’ Salome, Elektra und Capriccio, Krenek’s Jonny spielt auf, Bomarzo by Alberto Ginastera, Prokofiev’s L’amour des trois oranges, Berlioz' La damnation de Faust, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (1874 version), and a double-bill of his invention combining Korngold’s Violanta and Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy. During his tenure, he also appeared regularly as guest conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires while re-establishing the Orchestra of the Teatro Colón as a concert orchestra.

In 2005, at the unanimous behest of the Resident Orchestra of the Teatro Colón, he was appointed Music Director. His debut performance at the Metropolitan Opera conducting Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in 1997 led to an engagement at the San Francisco Opera conducting a highly acclaimed 1998 production of Alban Berg’s Lulu, after which he was invited to return in 2000 for Douglas Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe. The clarity and expressivity of his renditions of twentieth century opera brought him to the attention of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra which engaged him to conduct concert performances of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck in 2002 for which he was cited with an OPUS Award for Best Concert of the Season by the Conseil Québecoise de la Musique. His immediate reengagement in 2003 conducting Roussel’s Bacchus et Ariane and Bluebeard’s Castle by Bartok, was accorded a second OPUS Award. During that season he also presented the world premiere performances of Richard Danielpour’s opera, Margaret Garner at the theatres of Detroit, Cincinnati and Philadelphia as well as Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata at the Houston Grand Opera. Parallel to these world premieres, he was invited to conduct a new production of Puccini’s Turandot at the National Opera and Ballet Theater of Lithuania.

Recent engagements include the Semper Oper Dresden (Henze: L’Upupa, Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov, Heggie: Dead Man Walking, Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus); Hamburg State Opera (Puccini: Turandot, Tosca) Göteborg (Tristan und Isolde); National Opera of Slovakia (Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov, Puccini: La bohème); a new production of Krenek's Jonny spielt auf at the National Opera in Prague, a gala concert honouring Kristof Penderecki with the Sinfonia Varovia in Warsaw, and regular appearances with the orchestras of Zagreb, Vilnius, Basel, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Singapore, Málaga, Tirana, Oulu, Athens, Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile and the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

His tenure as Music Director of the National Symphony of Uruguay (SODRE) from 2012 to 2015 was praised for the dramatically improved caliber of orchestra playing and progressive programming. He maintains a long-standing collaboration with the orchestra of the Escuela Superior de Música Reína Sofía in Madrid, recently in concerts at the Auditorio Nacional Madrid which were broadcast by Radio-Television España. In December of 2015, his premiere recording of Joseph Summer’s opera, The Tempest was released in the United States of America by Albany Records.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, he began study of the piano at age 5. A graduate of Worcester Academy, in 2009 he was recipient of the schools first “Cole Porter Award” for Artistic Achievement - Cole Porter also having graduated from Worcester Academy. Upon completion of studies in Composition and Piano at Oberlin Conservatory of Music while concurrently completing a degree in Biology at Oberlin College, he was awarded a full-scholarship as Teaching Fellow at Harvard University from which he holds a PhD in Composition. A grant from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) afforded him further composition studies with Isang Yun and conducting studies Hans Martin Rabenstein in Berlin in 1977. An accomplished pianist, he thereafter assumed his positions at the Graz Opera and Vienna State Opera which remain for him important years of preparation for his later work as conductor.

Stefan Lano’s Sinfonia 3 was premiered in 2004 by the Lithuanian National Philharmonic with the composer conducting. His Sinfonia 1 (1975), was cited with a BMI Award in Composition and a Rockefeller Foundation Grant for its first performance at the Newport Music Festival. Antal Dorati also chose this work for First Prize of the National Society of Arts and Letters “Firestone Award” in Composition in Washington DC. During his tenure in Weimar, he composed the incidental music for the dramatic play based on Alfred Döblin's November 1918 performed by the Staatskapelle Weimar with the composer conducting. His Sieben Lieder nach Rainer Maria Rilke were premiered in 2019 by the National Symphony of Argentina with soprano, Eiko Senda as soloist. A segment of this work comprises his Vier Studien aus der Oper "Und Pippa tanzt", a work in progress based on the play by Gerhart Hauptmann. He is currently composing his second Piano Concerto for the National Philharmonic of Lithuania and pianist, Muza Rubackyte.

As of February 2021, Stefan Lano returns to Montevideo as Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra and National Theatre (SODRE) of Uruguay.

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