"Marco Parisotto steps onto the podium [Montreal Symphony Orchestra] and the enchantment commences...In Francesca da Rimini [Tchaikovsky] his formidable musical power radiated...What a performance! Better yet, this is the signature of an artist who stands among the greatest." (Le Devoir)
Marco Parisotto was born in Montreal, Canada, of Italian lineage. A frequent guest with orchestras around the globe, he is one of Canada's foremost and distinguished conductors on the international scene. He has been Music Director of the Ontario Philharmonic in Canada since 1996 and is credited with building this orchestra to the high standard it enjoys today. Following a special concert celebrating Canada-China relations in 1999 at the Grand Theatre in Shanghai, he was appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 2003. As such, in that period he was the first foreign national to have held a leading official position in the history of the People’s Republic of China.
Marco Parisotto has appeared in major concert halls throughout the world, conducting many leading orchestras including, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia of London, New Jersey Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, Quebec Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Louisiana Philharmonic, Osaka Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Japan Shinsei Symphony, Opera G. Verdi di Trieste, Belgrade Philharmonic, Georges Enescu Philharmonic in Bucharest, Janacek Philharmonic, Moravian Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Opéra de Bordeaux, Opéra de Marseille, Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Philharmonique de Liège, Orchestre Lamoureux at Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris.
Marco Parisotto is the winner of no fewer than seven major international competitions. He crowned these achievements in 1997 with the Besançon International Competition for Conductors, joining the ranks of conductors like Seiji Ozawa, Michel Plasson or Zdenek Macal. A first in this elite event's history, he was awarded the Grand Prix as well as the Prix du Public. Other top prizes have included the Tokyo International Conductors' Competition in Japan, Constantin Silvestri Competition in Romania and the Antonio Pedrotti in Italy - he was moreover conferred with all other special awards at these events.
Marco Parisotto has won critical and public praise for his interpretations of Russian masters as Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Stravinsky; and of the great Germanic repertoire as Strauss, Bruckner, Mahler, Wagner; and of Italian opera. In 2002 he gave the Shanghai premiere performances of Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben and Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances. Acclaimed for his passionate performances in the operatic field he has led productions of Pagliacci, Cavalleria Rusticana, Otello, Tosca, Boheme, Aida, Rigoletto and Don Giovanni.
He took his training both as a violinist (under Mauricio Fuks) and pianist (under Karl Steiner) and studied conducting with eminent maestros including Leonard Bernstein, Carlo Maria Giulini, Leonard Slatkin, Charles Brück, Yuri Temirkanov, Georg Tintner and, initially, with Raffi Armenian at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec in Montreal. As well, he studied under Swiss conductor/composer Michel Tabachnik whose assistant he became in his early career.
In a few words...
“Wilfrid-Pelletier Hall is full, Marco Parisotto steps onto the podium and the enchantment commences... What a musician! ...he made the Montreal Symphony Orchestra sound like a marvel.
“...Marco Parisotto is one of, if not ‘the’ great conductor of the generation under forty years of age... This young conductor belongs to the greatest. Not since the debuts of Chailly and Rattle have I been so impressed.”
“...Marco Parisotto could take on the world... I heard Parisotto lead this ensemble [Ontario Philharmonic] last Saturday at Koerner Hall. To say I was surprised is putting it mildly.
“A fluid figure on the podium who often suspends his arms with avian breadth, Parisotto kept the players consistently engaged while attending to bar-by-bar details. A decade ago this Montreal native made some impressive guest appearances with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Oshawa and Ontario are lucky to have him.”
“Maestro Marco Parisotto delighted the listeners charging each concert minute with bravura of unmatchable musicianship. Indeed he is an artist who stands among the best... He is indeed an inspiration to watch conduct the entire ensemble, emanating from his baton, his energy and charm.”
“...[Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci]: extraordinary performance... real opera and deeply moving... Marco Parisotto drew undreamt-of refinement from the OSM... The best opera performance of the year.”
“...Parisotto, an award-winning young globetrotter, restyled the RPO into a fine Classic-era ensemble - no small achievement. He summoned the requisite clean, buoyant, transparent sound - even some remarkable delicacy and... The RPO applauded Parisotto and kept their seats, allowing him to take the spotlight during his final bows.”
“... a triumph for Marco Parisotto... A conductor of stellar qualities... The OFUNAM responded with virtuosity, massive sound and moments of delicacy and finesse... The hall was full and Parisotto along with his musicians received a fitting tribute to these superb interpretations.”
“Marco Parisotto may get on the list to succeed Saraste [at the Toronto Symphony] ...Saturday night in Roy Thomson Hall, the Montreal-born conductor leapt into a high position on the list.”
“…both soloists [Igor and Valeri Oistrakh] were greatly assisted by extremely supportive playing from the Philharmonia Orchestra under Marco Parisotto.”
“I can't even begin to count the number of recordings of the work [Petrushka] I've heard, but nothing came even close to the transparency and vivid coloration of conductor Marco Parisotto's and the orchestra's collaboration.”