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Mario Venzago has been appointed Principal Conductor of the Northern Sinfonia. He will take up the position on 1 January 2010.
The Swiss-born conductor will conduct the Northern Sinfonia for a minimum of three weeks each season, until the 2012/13 season. Thomas Zehetmair, Music Director; Simon Halsey, Principal Conductor Choral Projects; John Wilson, Principal Conductor and David Lang, Composer in Association will continue to conduct the orchestra.
Commenting on the appointment, Simon Clugston, Performance Programme Director at the Sage Gateshead said: "Mario Venzago has always impressed us with the depth of his musicianship and the breadth of his repertoire. He had an instant rapport with the Northern Sinfonia. This is an enormously exciting appointment for us; we are delighted that Mario Venzago has agreed to join our brilliant and dynamic artistic team."
Venzago is 'ecstatic' about his appointment. Acknowledging the challenges faced by classical music, he said: "The financial world is a precarious realm but I know we can overcome these challenges with a rich repertoire played with a new, dynamic vision. I wish the orchestra the very best for the future and pledge my best efforts in our new partnership."
Venzago is also Conductor Laureate of the Basel Symphony Orchestra and from the start of the 2010-11 season, he will be Principal Guest Conductor of the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland Pfalz in Ludwigshafen.