“There are outstanding musicians at work here, and when Stefan Lano conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden, the sound is simply sublime: wonderful balance within the orchestra and between orchestra and stage; a clear enjoyment in creating unusual orchestral effects; and a complete artistic commitment crowned with chamber music-like finesse.” Dresdner Neuste Nachrichten
Integrating his work as composer with his conducting assignments, Stefan Lano has established himself as an ardent and sought-after proponent in both concert and opera of fin-de-siecle and contemporary music. His professional career began at the Graz Opera as Repetiteur followed by an extended tenure on the Music Staff of the Vienna State Opera in the 1980s. Lorin Maazel appointed him Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1988. In 1993, he conducted the first Latin American production of the three-act version of Berg’s Lulu at the Teatro Colón, further conducting over the years productions of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, Richard Strauss’ Salome, Elektra and Capriccio, Krenek’s Jonny spielt auf, Bomarzo by Alberto Ginastera, Prokofiev’s L’amour des trots oranges, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, and a double-bill of his invention combining Korngold’s Violanta and Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy. In 2005, at the unanimous behest of the Resident Orchestra of the theater, he was appointed Music Director of the Teatro Colón.
His debut performance at the Metropolitan Opera conducting Stravinsky’s Rake´s Progress in 1997 led to an engagement at the San Francisco Opera conducting a highly acclaimed 1998 production of Alban Berg’s Lulu, after which he was invited to return in 2000 for Douglas Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe.
The clarity and expressivity of his renditions of twentieth century opera brought him to the attention of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra which engaged him to conduct concert performances of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck in 2002 for which he was cited with an OPUS Award for Best Concert of the Season by the Conseil Québécoise de la Musique. His immediate reengagement in 2003 conducting Roussel’s Bacchus et Ariane and Bluebeard’s Castle by Bartok, was accorded a second OPUS Award. During that season he also presented the world premiere performances of Richard Danielpour’s opera, Margaret Garner at the theaters of Detroit, Cincinnati and Philadelphia as well as Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata at the Houston Grand Opera. Parallel to these world premieres, he was invited to conduct a new production of Puccini’s Turandot at the National Opera and Ballet Theater of Lithuania.
Recent engagements include the Semper Oper Dresden (Henze: L’Upupa, Moussorgsky: Boris Godunov, Heggie: Dead Man Walking, Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus); Hamburg State Opera (Puccini: Turandot, Tosca) Göteborg (Tristan und Isolde); National Opera of Slovakia (Moussorgsky: Boris Godunov, Puccini: La bohème); concerts with the orchestras of Zagreb, Vilnius, Basel, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Singapore, Málaga, Tirana, Oulu, Athens, Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
His tenure as Music Director of the National Symphony of Uruguay (SODRE) from 2012 to 2015 was praised for the dramatically improved caliber of orchestra playing and progressive programming. He maintains a long-standing collaboration with the orchestra of the Escuela Superior de Música Reína Sofía in Madrid, most recently in concerts at the Auditorio Nacional Madrid which were broadcast by Radio-Television España. In December of 2015, his premiere recording of Joseph Summer’s opera, The Tempest was released by Albany Records, available on iTunes Store.
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, he began study of the piano at age 5. A graduate of Worcester Academy, in 2009 he was recipient of the schools first “Cole Porter Award” for Artistic Achievement - Cole Porter also having graduated from Worcester Academy. Upon completion of studies in Composition with Richard Hoffmann at Oberlin Conservatory of Music while concurrently completing a degree in Biology at Oberlin College, he was awarded a full-scholarship as Teaching Fellow at Harvard University from which he holds a PhD in Composition. A grant from the DAAD(German Academic Exchange Service) afforded him further composition studies with Isang Yun and conducting studies Hans Martin Rabenstein in Berlin in 1977. An accomplished pianist, he thereafter assumed his positions at the Graz Opera and Vienna State Opera which remain for him important years of preparation for his later work as conductor.
Stefan Lano’s Sinfonie Nº 3 was premiered in 2004 by the Lithuanian National Philharmonic with the composer conducting. His Sinfonie N° 1(1975), was cited with a BMI Award in Composition in and a Rockefeller Foundation Grant for its first performance at the Newport Music Festival. Antal Dorati also chose this work for First Prize of the National Society of Arts and Letters “Firestone Award” in Composition. Having recently completed his Rilke-Lieder for Soprano and Orchestra, he is currently composing his Sinfonie N° 4.
He resides with his family in Basel, Switzerland since 1995 and in 2010 became a Swiss citizen.