Slovenian conductor Marko Letonja has been named as the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s inaugural Conductor Laureate. The appointment comes at the end of his seven-year tenure as Chief Conductor, which comes to a close this year. Letonja’s tenure as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, which began in 2012, was extended through 2018 to coincide with the TSO’s 70th anniversary season. His new appointment will span three years from the 2019 season and will see Letonja return to Tasmania for at least three weeks annually to conduct orchestral and operatic concerts.

Marko Letonja, TSO, Tasmanian Symphony OrchestraTasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chief Conductor Marko Letonja

“Marko’s charismatic conducting style and excellence in repertoire selection have forged a remarkable connection with both the orchestra and our audience,” the TSO’s Managing Director Nicholas Heyward said. “He has led some of the most vibrant and exciting programs in our history and brought out a new level of cohesion and technical ability from our outstanding players.”

“We are thrilled that we can extend our relationship with Marko beyond his Chief Conductor engagement, and continue to benefit from his talents and reputation,” Heyward said. “We are particularly pleased that we can reflect his importance to the TSO with the new title of Conductor Laureate.”

Letonja will conduct the TSO in Fauré’s Requiem on August 4, in a concert featuring the world premiere of Melody Eötvös’s new work Ruler of the Hive, before his final concert as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in concert on October 20.

The TSO has also announced that after an extensive international search, the orchestra will announce a new Chief Conductor and Artistic Director in the near future. The new Chief Conductor’s engagement will commence in 2020.