Marc Taddei, Conductor
Conductor Marc Taddei is Music Director of two orchestras, Orchestra Wellington in New Zealand’s capital city, and the Vallejo Symphony Orchestra, near San Francisco in the United States.
Astonishingly, Marc’s orchestra in Wellington has surpassed every other orchestra in New Zealand with the highest average paid attendance level for subscription concerts, now averaging over 1850 people per concert. And the final concert of his first season in Vallejo broke all box office records for the 85-year old orchestra; there was standing room only, with dozens turned away at the door. In his second season, the VSO will have achieved subscription and ticket results not seen in a generation. These achievements follow his introduction of a subscription season and the orchestra’s highest-ever audience numbers with his first orchestra in Christchurch, and solidify Marc’s reputation as one of the most compelling – and stunningly successful – music directors working today. His zest for creating engaging, erudite and innovative programmes, combined with his close audience connection, has won for him an unsurpassed public following and continuing critical acclaim.
Marc frequently conducts every professional orchestra in New Zealand, and has worked over many years with the national ballet and opera companies, the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, the Auckland Festival and the New Zealand International Film Festival.
Outside of New Zealand, Marc guest conducts the major Australian orchestras every year, and returns each year to conduct in the United States. Marc’s debut with New York City Ballet led to an immediate re-invitation for three Balanchine ballets the following year. The year after he made his mainland Chinese debut with the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, he was invited to conduct the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
Continually noted for his interpretations, Middle C said of a recent performance, “…here was a performance that recalled for me the astonishment and excitement I felt when I first heard the work in my teens.” Similarly, City Voice (Wellington) wrote, “Here in our midst we have a conductor who is young, charismatic, and is able to communicate his emotions and visions of these great works to an orchestra, so that they can reach out and touch an audience like very few can actually do.” In Christchurch, Marc was celebrated for his “magnificent contribution as Music Director” by The Press. In Wellington, he has been lauded as “a real interpreter of boldly romantic inclinations” by the Dominion Post and was singled out for his “intensity, commitment and attention to detail” by the Capital Times.
His work in Wellington and Vallejo follows a highly successful tenure as music director of the Christchurch Symphony from 2001-2006. The Christchurch Press summed up his tenure at his final concert: “the orchestra’s music director, whose energy, exuberance, drive and vision proved beyond all doubt that music is an essential feature of daily life in a 21st century city.”
Marc Taddei has conducted the Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Tasmanian, and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia and the Silesian State Opera in the Czech Republic. In the US, he conducted the Richmond Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Oregon, Fort Worth and New Haven Symphony Orchestras, the Eugene Symphony, and the Southwest Florida Symphony. His performance with the Louisiana Philharmonic was nominated for best Contemporary Classical Performance of the year at the 12th annual Tribute to the Classical Arts in New Orleans.
Marc has worked with such diverse artists as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Anne Sofie von Otter, Ilya Gringolts, Angela Brown, Julian Lloyd Webber, Horacio Gutiérrez, Simon O’Neill, Joanna MacGregor, Jonathan Lemalu, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Sir Howard Morrison, Michael Houstoun, Gregg Baker, Dame Malvina Major, Helen Callus, Csaba Erdélyi, Joshua Redman, Pedro Carneiro, James Morrison, Diana Krall, Bobby Shew, Art Garfunkel, Dave Dobbyn, Warren Maxwell, and Kenny Rogers, among many others.
In 2016 Marc began his tenure with the Vallejo Symphony Orchestra in the US, and among other highlights directed for the first time in New Zealand John Adams’ “Sila: the breath of the world” at the New Zealand International Arts Festival.
Last year he returned to Tasmania, Brisbane and Dunedin, and conducted the Auckland Philharmonia at the Auckland Festival. His Orchestra Wellington season started in May and the Vallejo season started in October. At the end of the year, Marc made his debut with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta in Hong Kong Ballet’s production of Nutcracker. In 2018, in addition to work in New Zealand and America, he returns to Australia and again conducts a production with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. 2018 also marks his debut with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Marc has appeared every year for more than a dozen years with the New Zealand International Film Festivals. He conducted the Toa Fraser Film Dean Spanley (with Jeremy Northam, Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, and Peter O’Toole) in 2008 and was the assistant conductor to Howard Shore on Peter Jackson’s movie King Kong in 2005. He also conducted the soundtracks to Under the Mountain (2009) and the Hollywood production of Krampus, a Legendary Pictures production directed by Michael Dougherty, which was released last year. Marc conducts the major Australian orchestras for film-centric concerts, and programmes film concerts from time to time with his own orchestras in New Zealand.
Marc’s impressive discography includes nearly 30 recordings of eclectic and significant repertoire on the Sony, BMG, Koch, Columbia, Trust, ASV, Universal, Rattle, Concordance and Kiwi Pacific labels, and many of his discs are featured in streaming audio on the Naxos music library website. His most recent release, Gillian Whitehead’s Alice, led William Dart to exclaim, “Masterpiece is not a term to be used carelessly, but this accolade is totally warranted for Gillian Whitehead’s Alice… Now a splendid Atoll recording, with Marc Taddei conducting the NZSO, does both singer and composer full justice….”. His most recent release was music of New Zealand composer Leonie Holmes, also with the NZSO, just last year.
Marc’s successes as a recording artist are informed by his work in the industry as a conductor, soloist, orchestral musician, and as a producer. His release of British viola concertos with Helen Callus and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra received rave reviews in Gramophone, Classic FM, and Strad magazines and the CD was listed as recording of the month by Music Web International and Classic FM. The American Record guide said of his Berlioz Harold in Italy/Bartok Viola Concerto CD that “this is one of the best Harolds you’ll find anywhere, and the Bartok will appeal to anyone dissatisfied by previous editions of the score.” His Rattle CD, “View From Olympus” was awarded Classical Album of the Year at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards and spent an unprecedented nine months at #1 in the classical music charts. It was specially featured by Jim Svejda on KUSC-FM in the United States, and on his internationally syndicated programme, The Record Shelf. Marc and Orchestra Wellington — known as the Vector Wellington Orchestra at the time of the recording — together with viola soloist Donald Maurice, were given an international “Supersonic” Award by the prestigious European magazine, Pizzicato, for their live recording of Boris Pigovat’s Requiem The Holocaust, on the Atoll Label. And Marc’s SONY recording with the Christchurch Symphony went double platinum the year it was released.
Marc also conducted the soundtrack to Britain’s Channel 4 film based on Wagner’s Ring Cycle, which won the prestigious Prix de Basle Special Jury Award for the “most outstanding contribution to European culture in television”. He has conducted for television producers such as C4 productions in the UK and New Zealand, Fox Television, TVNZ and TV3 in New Zealand. Marc’s appearances on television have included live performances with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Young Musician of the Year, Last Night of the Proms, and a children’s television special entitled “Baby Proms” which introduces preschool children and their caregivers to the joys of the orchestra. A special televised performance of Vaughn Williams Symphony Antartica featuring Sir Edmund Hillary as narrator was broadcast live via satellite to Scott Base in the Antarctic in a world first in 2005. Ever the pioneer, in 2011 Marc conducted the NZSO in music for the innovative software package “Booktracks”, which featured music of John Psathas accompanying text of Salman Rushdie.
An advocate of new media in performance, and extra-musical collaboration as a means of enriching the artistic experience, Marc has worked with many of New Zealand’s finest composers and visual artists in ground-breaking orchestral and visual collaborations that have energized audiences. One such collaboration, entitled Southern Journeys, was released by Natural History New Zealand as a DVD.
Marc is a graduate of the Julliard School in Manhattan, where he received both bachelors and masters degrees before moving to New Zealand. He divides his time between Queenstown in New Zealand’s stunningly beautiful South Island, Wellington and San Francisco.