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Gustavo Gimeno

Langue disponible : anglais
Among Europe's fast-rising conductors in the late 2010s and early 2020s, Gustavo Gimeno became a North American sensation as well when he became music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2020. Gimeno began his career as a percussionist but switched to conducting in adulthood with encouragement from one of his mentors, Mariss Jansons. Gimeno was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1976. His household was filled with music; one of his parents was a clarinetist, and his older brother studied clarinet and violin. Gustavo dreamed of a career as a conductor but took percussion and piano lessons, and it was as a percussionist that he began his professional career in 2001 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. The following year, he was named the orchestra's principal percussionist, and he spent ten more years in that position. Yet, he remembered his childhood dreams and would often cross the street from the Concertgebouw to the Amsterdam Conservatory for conducting classes with Ed Spanjaard, Hans Vonk, and Iván Fischer. Gimeno was encouraged by Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conductor Mariss Jansons, and he worked as an assistant to Bernard Haitink and Claudio Abbado (with the Orchestra Mozart of Bologna and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra) as well. He held the official position of assistant conductor in 2012 and 2013, and he was also chief conductor of the Amsterdams Symphonie Orkest Con Brio and Het Orkest Amsterdam during this period. A successful emergency substitution for Jansons at a 2014 Concertgebouw Orchestra concert helped launch Gimeno's career, for he had to quickly master a completely new piece of music; Magnus Lindberg's Piano Concerto No. 2 was receiving its Dutch premiere. That year, he made his recording debut, leading the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Camerata in a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 9. Gimeno began to land guest slots with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, among other groups as well as a production of Bellini's opera Norma at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia. Gimeno became the conductor of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra in 2015, with a contract renewal that kept him in the position through at least 2022. With that group, he has made several recordings for the PentaTone label, including one, in 2021, of Francisco Coll's Violin Concerto with soloist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Gimeno became more visible in North America with guest appearances leading the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra. After a single concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2018, Gimeno was named music director of that ensemble, effective in 2020. He prepared several recordings with the orchestra for digital broadcast during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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