Swiss conductor Marcello Viotti was born at Vallorbe in the French-speaking part of Switzerland on 29 June 1954. His parents were both Italian. He studied cello, piano and voice at the Conservatoire de Lausanne. With encouragement from Wolfgang Sawallisch he won the 1982 Gino Marinuzzi Competition, and his conducting career began after this win.
He worked at various European opera houses, as artistic director of the Stadttheater in Lucerne, music director at Turin Opera and Generalmusikdirector in Bremen, and also guest conducted with Bavarian State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Vienna State Opera.
He was chief conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern (1991-5), joint chief conductor of the MDR Sinfonieorchester (Leipzig, 1996-9), chief conductor of the Münchner Rundfunkorchester (1998-2004), and music director of the Teatro La Fenice Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, both from 2002.
Viotti made many recordings for Erato and Nightingale, and he also recorded for DGG, Claves, Koch/Schwann, BMG and EMI.
Marcello Viotti died on 16 February 2005, aged fifty, after suffering a stroke during a rehearsal in Munich.
A Very Expressive Voice - Tess Crebbin talks to the tenor Zoran Todorovich
Irreplaceable to music - Tess Crebbin describes the memorial service in Munich for conductor Marcello Viotti
Love of music and family - On the death of Marcello Viotti, by Tess Crebbin
CD Spotlight. Flexibility and beauty - Ramón Vargas sings Rossini and Donizetti arias, recommended by Ron Bierman. '... his singing is wonderfully musical.'