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Oleg Caetani

Oleg Caetani (born 1956) is an Italian conductor.

He was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, the son of the Ukrainian conductor and composer Igor Markevitch and his second wife Donna Topazia Caetani (1921—90), who is descended from a Roman family that included the early 14th-century Pope Boniface VIII. Caetani has chosen to use his mother's family name to continue its lineage.[1] His half-brother is Vaslav Markevitch.

Caetani studied with Nadia Boulanger for several years. At the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome, he studied conducting with Franco Ferrara and composition with Irma Ravinale. He made his debut at age 17 with a production of Claudio Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda directed by Constantina Petkova in Rome. He then went to the Moscow Conservatory to study conducting with Kirill Kondrashin and musicology with Nadezhda Nikolaeva. He graduated from the St Petersburg Conservatory in conducting with Ilya Musin.

Caetani won the RAI Turin and the third prize at the Karajan Competitions in Berlin, and started his professional career as assistant to Otmar Suitner at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin. He has since been Chief Conductor at the Nationaltheater Weimar, First Conductor at the Oper Frankfurt, Music Director first at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, later at the Chemnitz Opera and of the Robert Schumann Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2001, Caetani conducted his first production at La Scala, Milan, with Turandot. His first conducting appearance with English National Opera (ENO) was in 2003 with Khovanshchina. In February 2005, ENO announced the appointment of Caetani as its music director to succeed Paul Daniel, effective in 2006.[2] However, after the November 2005 resignation of ENO's then artistic director, Seán Doran, who had appointed Caetani, Caetani's own appointment as the next ENO Music Director was cancelled in December 2005, the month before he was scheduled to take up the post.[3] Concerns had arisen that Caetani's commitments in Australia limited his available time to serve with ENO.[4] Even though Caetani never formally took up the post of ENO's music director, he fulfilled his contract to conduct ENO's 2006 production of Sir John in Love (the first fully staged revival since 1958).[5]

Caetani made his Australian conducting debut in 2001 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO). In January 2005, he became the MSO's Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. In 2007 he led the MSO on its second European tour, which took in performances in major centres including Berlin, Madrid, Milan and Paris. In March 2008, the MSO announced the extension of Caetani's contract through to the end of 2010.[6] He led the MSO in the Australian premiere of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 ("Babi Yar") on 7 August 2008.[7] His recording projects with the MSO include symphonies of Alexandre Tansman[8] and the orchestral works of Rudi Stephan.[9] On 14 October 2009, a year ahead of schedule, the MSO announced it had terminated Caetani's contract due to artistic differences.[10]

Caetani's other recordings include the first complete cycle of the Shostakovich symphonies by an Italian orchestra, with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi.

Caetani has been married twice. He has three daughters, two with his first wife Karin, and another one with his second wife Susanna.[1]


  1. ^ a b Robin Usher (2005-02-24). "Caetani shows his hand". The Age. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  2. ^ Charlotte Higgins (2005-02-18). "Italian working in Australia to lead English National Opera". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  3. ^ Jack Malvern (2005-12-29). "ENO chief sacked before he starts". The Times. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  4. ^ Charlotte Higgins (2005-12-29). "ENO changes tune on music director". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  5. ^ Tim Ashley (2006-03-04). (Coliseum, London)"Sir John in Love". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  6. ^ "Melbourne's Chief Conductor Extends Contract" (Press release). Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. 31 March 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  7. ^ Robin Usher (2008-08-06). "A light in the darkness". The Age. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  8. ^ Tim Ashley (2006-04-14). "Tansman, Symphonies 4, 5 and 6 (Chandos)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  9. ^ Robin Usher (2005-09-19). "MSO's man for all seasons". The Age. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  10. ^ Robin Usher (2009-10-14). "Orchestra abruptly ditches chief conductor". The Age. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 

External links

  • Oleg Caetani website
  • artist info
  • Klassika German-language page on Caetani
  • Melbourne Symphony Orchestra biography of Caetani
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