Slovenian conductor Marko Letonja will take over as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in January 2012.

Letonja will replace German-born Sebastian Lang-Lessing, who has led the TSO since 2004 and currently holds the position of Music Director of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra. The Slovenian maestro has already conducted the Vienna Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, La Scala, the Hamburg Symphony and other eminent European orchestras. He has also featured on numerous recordings of works by Felix Weingartner with the Basel Symphony Orchestra.

In a media release announcing the new appointment, TSO Chairman Geoff Willis explained the choice. “After an extensive international search, we are delighted to have secured a conductor of Marko’s calibre for the TSO. He has the brilliance, passion and foresight to build on the impeccable reputation the TSO enjoys around the world as both a highly recorded and much sought-after live orchestra.”

Australian audiences may recall that Letonja served as Principal Guest Conductor for Orchestra Victoria during their 2008/2009 season. Prior to that, he spent time here in the summer of 2007 during which he also conducted the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Australia’s Melbourne production of La Traviata.

In addition to his incoming position with the TSO, Marko Letonja is Music Director designate of the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra.