Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, nowadays generally known as laVerdi, was founded in 1993 by Vladimir Delman. Since then the Orchestra developped its repertoire under prestigious conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Georges Pràªtre, Riccardo Muti, Valery Gergiev, Rudolf Barshai, Claus Peter Flor, Christopher Hogwood, Helmuth Rilling, Peter Maag, Marko Letonja, Roberto Abbado, Ivor Bolton, Kazushi Ono, Vladimir Jurowski, Eiji Oue, Herbert Blomstedt, Krzysztof Penderecki, Leonard Slatkin, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Wayne Marshall, Là¼ Jia, Sir Neville Marriner, John Axelrod, James Gaffigan, Pietari Inkinen, Ion Marin, Paul Daniel, Aldo Ceccato and playing with soloists such as Martha Argerich, Mstislav Rostropovic, Vadim Repin, Hilary Hahn, Lynn Harrell, Viktoria Mullova, Sarah Chang, Midori, Han-Na Chang, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Nelson Freire, Salvatore Accardo, Mario Brunello, Alexander Toradze, Radovan Vlatkovic, Gianluca Cascioli, Domenico Nordio, Yefim Bronfman, Massimo Quarta, Enrico Dindo, Simone Pedroni, Natasha Korsakova, Yuri Bashmet, Roberto Cominati, Emanuele Arciuli, Yura Lee, Ivo Pogorelich, Olli Mustonen, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Benedetto Lupo.
From 1999 to 2005 Riccardo Chailly, now Conductor Laureate, was Music Director and led the Orchestra to major achievements and prestigious international tours (Europe, Asia, America).
Under his baton the Orchestra also started an intense recording activity with major international artists and recording labels (more than 25 CDs so far). "Verdi Heroines", with Angela Georghiu, won in 2000 the Gramophone Award, the Classic FM People's Choice and the Choc de l'Année. The CD of Verdi's "Messa Solenne", with the Chorus conducted by Romano Gandolfi, was nominated for the 2001 Gramophone Awards while the CD "Rossini's Arias" with Juan Diego Florez, with whom the orchestra recorded also "Una furtiva lacrima", had a large success of audience. In the Autumn 2006, for the 100th anniversary of Dmitrij Sostakovic's birth the "Complete Symphonies Cycle", conducted by Oleg Caetani, was published by Arts ("10/10 Highest Rating - Classics Today - fff Télérama - CD of the month by Amadeus) as well as the "Shostakovich Chamber Symphonies", conducted by Rudolf Barshai, for Brilliant Classics. On February 1st 2010 the CD "Verismo Arias" with Renée Fleming conducted by Marco Armiliato and produced by Decca, won the prestigious "Grammy Award" for best classical vocal performance.
Carlo Maria Giulini and Rudolf Barshai have been Conductor Emeritus. Starting from the Season 2008/2009 Wayne Marshall and Helmut Rilling are Principal Guest Conductors. The horn player Radovan Vlatkovic and the pianist Simone Pedroni have been nominated Artists in Residence. From 2009 Xian Zhang is the new Music Director and Ruben Jais Resident Conductor. Season 2011/2012 will be the debut of John Axelrod as Principal Conductor.
In 1998 Romano Gandolfi, a leading figure in the choral world, previous Chorus Master at La Scala Milano, Teatro Colod Buenos Aires, Liceu Barcelona, founded the Coro Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, a 100 singers chorus which faces with major flexibility a wide repertoire, including operatic, symphonic, chamber and polyphonic music, from the baroque era to the contemporary. Currently M° Erina Gambarini is the Chorus Master.
Orchestra and Chorus have often toured around the world together.
In 2002, laVerdi was Resident Orchestra and Chorus at "Festival dei Due Mondi" in Spoleto. In the same year the Orchestra also had its first European tour in France, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland conducted by Riccardo Chailly.
In 2003, conducted by Oleg Caetani, the Orchestra performed in Chile, Argentina and Brazil as well as, October of the same year, in the most prestigious Japanese concert halls conducted by Riccardo Chailly and with the participation of Martha Argerich and laVerdi Chorus.
In January 2004 the Orchestra, conducted by Riccardo Chailly, performed at the Canary Islands Festival and in August was engaged as Resident Orchestra at "Festival delle Nazioni" in Città di Castello.
In January 2005 the Orchestra, under the baton of Eiji Oue and with the participation of the violinist Hilary Hahn, made a tour in Germany and France; in May laVerdi played in several European cities including Frankfurt, Vienna and Budapest, conducted by Riccardo Chailly, and was hosted at the 68th edition of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
In Autumn 2006, for the first time in Italy, laVerdi made a tour throughout the country, performing in eleven cities with Marko Letonja and with the participation of pianist Benedetto Lupo, thus offering the possibility also to small cities to enjoy the gredat symphonical repertoire.
On April 24th 2008 laVerdi Orchestra and Chorus played in Sala Nervi (Vatican State) in front of Pope Benedetto XVI for the concert offered by the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano on the occasion of the III anniversary of Benedetto XVI's Pontificate. On December 2008 Orchestra and Chorus were invited to Baku, Azerbaijan, at the II Mistlav Rostropovich International Festival. Conducted by Eugene Kohn, they performed at the "World Stars" Opera Gala playing Verdi's Messa da Requiem as well as Puccini, Mascagni, Bizet and Verdi's Arias.
In April 2009 laVerdi, conducted by the new Musical Director Xian Zhang, performed again the concert offered by the President Giorgio Napolitano in Sala Nervi to celebrate the IV anniversary of Benedetto XVI's Pontificate.
In the same month laVerdi, as part of an exchange with the Symphonic Orchestra of Euskadi (Basque Countries), went on tour to Bilbao, San Sebastian, Victoria, Pamplona under the baton of Oleg Caetani and with the pianist Simone Pedroni.
During the same year the Orchestra performed on two important tours: the first in the principal theatres of Switzerland, under the baton of M° Roberto Abbado; the second, in nine Italian regions with 16 concerts conducted by M° Wayne Marshall.
In June and July 2009-2010-2011 laVerdi was invited again to perform as Resident Orchestra at "Festival dei Due Mondi" in Spoleto.
On April 4th 2010, on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of Liberation and of the 20th anniversary of Luigi Nono's death, la
Verdi conducted by Francesco Maria Colombo performed Luigi Nono's "Il Canto Sospeso' at Auditorium di Milano, in front of the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano.
laVerdi, now regarded as one of the leading Italian orchestras, has a vast repertoire, from Baroque to Contemporary, and since 1999 performs in its new home: Auditorium di Milano, Fondazione Cariplo. The new hall, inaugurated with Mahler II under the baton of Riccardo Chailly, is considered one of the best concert halls in Italy for its acoustic, technical and attractive features.
Each season the Orchestra offers its audience over 35 different symphonical programs, each performed 3 times every week from September to June. The main season hosts major international conductors and soloists and is characterized by some recurring appointments: Beethoven IX, every year at New Year's; Bach's St. John's or St. Matthew's Passion at Easter time; Verdi's Requiem at All Saints Feast.
During 2011/2012 the main season will be accompanied by other three different concert series: "Crescendo in Musica" (10 concerts for children and families), "laVerdi Barocca" (appointments with the music of XVII and XVIII Century, conducted by Ruben Jais and performed by the period instruments orchestra "laVerdi Barocca') and "MAGGIOREminore" , the project conceived and conducted by Giuseppe Grazioli (10 concerts to celebrate famous composers and their less famous collegues).
[Updated in June 2011]