He’s tall, he’s handsome, he’s muscular. Lorenzo Viotti ticks all the boxes of a well-oiled communication: no, he does not correspond to the stereotypes of the old gruff, grizzled and authoritarian conductor. Yes, he works his image, displays eclecticism and good feelings, invests fully in version 2.0. of the antihero that dust off classical music.
“I find that audiences for different music see each other in both directions, regrets the young man. VDo you like electro? You take drugs. Do you like rap? Pff, you’re a gangster. Do you like classical music? You are boriiing [« ennuyeux », avec l’accent]. It’s time to open up to each other! »
And the mayonnaise takes, even if it means annoying some in this felted environment where social surface counts as much as economic capital. At 31, Lorenzo Viotti has just settled down in Amsterdam to take up his new duties as musical director of the National Opera and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. He is questioned at the bar of a large Parisian hotel, a few hours from a concert at the Philharmonie de Paris. He shows himself focused, wanting “Stay true to [son] idea of sound “.
Because the sound in question has something to intimidate the elegant Franco-Swiss. Between two melodies by Rachmaninoff, the monumental Symphony No.10 by Shostakovich celebrates the freedom regained after Stalin’s death. “For me, it’s a whirlwind of emotions, let go of the chief. It’s very physical and very tiring: we juggle sarcasm with humor, including mad aggressiveness, the grotesque, violence, the icy side of death, uncontrolled joy … After a concert like that, I am emptied. “
A bridge between the orchestra and the composer
Inasmuch as “Servant of this art” as he likes to define himself, Lorenzo Viotti must nevertheless bridge the gap between the orchestra and the composer – “He is the artist, not me” he breathes – but also between the orchestra and its audience. “This kind of music is not free entertainment: if you don’t have access to the story, you miss out on a great emotional dimension” he said, convinced of his ” responsibility ” to open the doors of a “Extraordinary world”.
The young man bathed automatically in this extraordinary world – this “Luxurious bubble”, as he calls it. Lorenzo is the son of conductor Marcello Viotti, former music director of the Fenice in Venice, who died abruptly in 2005 at the age of 50, himself a descendant of the famous Italian composer and violinist Giovanni Battista Viotti. An heir, in short.
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