Luigi Gaggero

Conductor, Cimbalom Artist, Percussionist

Luigi Gaggero has been performing as cimbalom and percussion player for 20 years and, more recently, as a conductor of contemporary music ensembles at important concert halls and festivals all over Europe, USA, and China (Philharmonics in Berlin, Paris and Kiev, Milano Musica, Carnegie Hall, Salzburger Festspiele, BBC Proms in London, Biennali in Salzburg and Venezia, Klangspuren, DeSingel…)

His original interpretations approach classical and contemporary pieces from the same point of view: in this way ancient music gets colored with the typical freedom of the contemporary music, which, in turn, despite of its complexity, abandons itself to the sweep of “classical” phrasing.

Gaggero is the musical director of the Ukho Ensemble Kyiv, which he co-founded in 2015. At the head of the Ensemble he premiered more than 40 new pieces and he conducted 3 sold-out opera productions (operas by Stefano Gervasoni, Carmine Cella and Salvatore Sciarrino) at the National Opera of Ukraine, receiving a great popular and critical acclaim. Gaggero and Ukho hold regularly masterclasses for contemporary music conducting and for composition.

As a conductor Gaggero recorded monographic CDs dedicated to Gervasoni (
Winter & Winter), Hosokawa (Kairos), Solbiati (EMA Vinci Records), Monteverdi and Gesualdo (Stradivarius); as a cimbalom player he recorded solo-works by Kurtág, Hosokawa, Gervasoni, Yeznikian, Fedele and Eötvös.

On his interpretations of Monteverdi, Vittorio Ghielmi wrote “these fresh interpretations, far away from any ‘museality’, remind closely of Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro and the Baroque sculpture, letting this music powerfully come to life again before our eyes”.

During the last 20 years Gaggero has been dedicating himself to the development of new playing techniques on the cimbalom, revolutionizing the approach to the instrument. He premiered more than 40 compositions -among solo pieces, concertos and chamber music- written for him by many of the most important composers of our time, contributing to an essential widening of the cimbalom literature.

As a cimbalom player Gaggero regularly plays with the best European formations: Berliner Philharmoniker, Münchner Philharmoniker, Münchner Kammerorchester, Sinfonieorchester des NDR Hamburg, Filarmonica della Scala, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland, Philharmonia Orchestra London, Orchestre du Théâtre de La Monnaie in Bruxelles, Orchestre de Radio France, and with the ensembles InterContemporain, Scharoun, musikfrabrik, Modern, œnm Salzburg, Contrechamps, Remix, Spectra and Notabu. Gaggero has played under the direction of Abbado, Barenboim, Boreyko, Boulez, Cambreling, Eötvös, Hannigan, Harnoncourt, Holliger, Muti, Nagano, Ono, Pappano, Poppen and Rattle, and he collaborated with interpreters like Juliane Banse, Muriel Cantoreggi, Mario Caroli, Marino Formenti, Niek de Groot, Barbara Hannigan, Maria Husmann, András Keller, Frank Stadler, Nurit Stark and Geneviève Strosser.

He has studied percussions and conducting with Andrea Pestalozza -who brought him to the enthusiastic discover of the music of the 20th Century-, cimbalom with Márta Fábián and, studying with Edgar Guggeis and Rainer Seegers, was the first percussionist to receive the soloist-diploma with honors at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin.

Gaggero is professor of cimbalom at the Conservatoire and at the Académie supérieure de musique in Strasbourg, where he also conducts the contemporary music ensemble of the Académie.

June 2018. Not to be altered without permission.