Joseph Rescigno has conducted for more than 50 companies on four continents. Since 1981, he has served as Artistic Advisor and Principal Conductor of the Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee (WI), where he has conducted some of the company’s most challenging repertory. He also has been Music Director of La Musica Lirica, a summer program for singers in Northern Italy, since 2005. And he served as Artistic Director of Metropolitan Orchestra of Greater Montreal, Quebec, for four seasons.
In his permanent and guest engagements, Maestro Rescigno traverses the repertory from new works like Minoru Miki’s Jōruri and Don Davis’s Río de Sangre (both world premieres under his baton) to rarities like Rossini’s 1816 La Gazzetta. He also champions neglected contemporary works like Barber’s Vanessa while conducting a broad swath of operas from the standard literature. This includes Mozart’s seminal pieces; works from Italian composers like Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi, and Puccini; romantic French operas of Bizet, Gounod, and Saint-Saëns; and works from the German school, particularly those of Wagner and Richard Strauss. In addition, Maestro Rescigno has conducted masterworks of the choral literature as well as symphonies and concertos from the baroque to the contemporary—sometimes from the keyboard in works from earlier eras.
As a guest artist, this peripatetic conductor has led the New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Seattle Opera, Atlanta Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Omaha, Arizona Opera, Hungarian State Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Vancouver Opera, Teatro Bellini, l’Opéra de Marseille, and l’Opéra de Montréal among others. The symphony orchestras he has conducted include the Montreal Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony, both of which he has led in their regular subscription series as well as in opera productions. In addition, he won Quebec’s Prix Opus for a program of all five Beethoven piano concertos with Anton Kuerti and the Metropolitan Orchestra of Greater Montreal.
Maestro Rescigno’s discography includes recordings of the aforementioned world premieres, Río de Sangre (for Albany Records) and Jōruri (for Toei Video Disk). He recorded two solo operatic anthologies for Analekta of Canada featuring Lyne Fortin (Mozart) and Diana Soviero (the highly regarded Verismo). Also for Analekta, he conducted three symphonic albums with works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Mendelssohn.
This native New Yorker comes from a long line of musicians on both sides of his family. He trained as a pianist and has been studying and performing music since childhood. His uncle was the prominent conductor Nicola Rescigno, a founder of both the Dallas Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He holds a Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music and studied with composer Nicolas Flagello and other
distinguished teachers in the United States and Europe, including
privately at lAccademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He
went on to work with such influential conductors as Laszlo Halasz
(founder of the New York City Opera), Bruno Maderna, Gianandrea
Gavazzeni, Carlo Moresco (the first director of the Philadelphia
Lyric Opera Company), and his uncle. Powerful influences also included
pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, conductors Herbert von Karajan
and Erich Leinsdorf, and Roberto Benaglio, the legendary chorus
master of La Scala. Each one personally taught him something unforgettable.
Maestro Rescigno has further been privileged to collaborate with
prominent musicians of three generations including instrumentalists
Brigitte Engerer, Ida Haendel, Elmar Oliveira, and Pieter Wispelwey,
and singers June Anderson, Angela Brown, Ghena Dimitrova, Giuseppe
DiStefano, Plácido Domingo, Alfredo Kraus, Eva Marton, Johanna
Meier, Erie Mills, Andrea Rost, Erika Sunnegårdh, Ruth Ann
Swenson, Tatiana Troyanos, Ramón Vargas, and Deborah Voigt.
A born teacher, Joseph Rescigno derives tremendous gratification from working with young musicians and singers in guest engagements at universities and conservatories in addition to imparting his knowledge and experience at La Musica Lirica and in master classes and private coaching. He is also honored to serve on the advisory committee of the Olga Forrai Foundation as it supports the training, education, and career development of singers and conductors. In recognition of the high musical standards Maestro Rescigno and The Florentine Opera Company maintain moreover, they were chosen to mentor two Solti Foundation U.S. Award recipients in the 2014-2015 season as part of the Foundation’s residency project (newly expanded to opera).
Multi-lingual, Rescigno also readily gives lively and informative talks before performances, illustrating examples on a piano when possible. In addition, he is working on his first book, The View from the Pit: Where Theater Meets Music.
Last update: April 2015