Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor
Joseph Rescigno has conducted symphonies, concertos, operas, and oratorios for more than 50 companies on four continents. Since 1981, he has served as Artistic Advisor and Principal Conductor of the Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee (WI), where he has conducted some of the company’s most challenging repertory.
In his permanent and guest engagements, Maestro Rescigno has conducted symphonies and concertos from the baroque to the modern era—sometimes from the keyboard in works from earlier eras. He has also led performances of such masterworks of the choral literature as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem. Beyond the concert stage, Maestro Rescigno has conducted virtually all of the core Italian opera repertory, including romantic, verismo, and bel canto works; the standard French and German operas, including the works of Wagner and Richard Strauss; and contemporary works, including the Florentine Opera’s first world premiere, Don Davis’s Río de Sangre, in 2010.
As a guest artist, Maestro Rescigno has conducted the New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Hungarian State Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Seattle Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Vancouver Opera, Teatro Bellini, l’Opéra de Marseille, and l’Opéra de Montreal among others. The symphony orchestras he has conducted include the Montreal Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony orchestras, both of which he has conducted in their regular subscription series as well as in opera productions. In addition, he won Quebec’s Prix Opus for a program of all five Beethoven piano concertos with Anton Kuerti at the piano and the Metropolitan Orchestra of Greater Montreal.
Don Davis’s Río de Sangre, recorded during the 2010 world premiere production, was released on compact disc in October 2011 by Albany Records. Maestro Rescigno’s discography also includes four recordings for Analekta of Canada with the same Metropolitan Orchestra: Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony plus the overture and rarely performed arias from the incidental music to the play Egmont with soprano Karina Gauvin; Brahms’s two piano concertos with Anton Kuerti; Mendelssohn’s two violin concertos with Angèle Dubeau; and soprano arias from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro plus Exsultate Jubilate with soprano Lyne Fortin. Also for Analekta, he recorded the highly regarded Verismo featuring Diana Soviero, with the orchestra of the Montreal Opera, a collection of arias from well-known and little-known operas of the verismo school. Having conducted the world and Japanese premieres, Maestro Rescigno recorded Minoru Miki’s Jōruri with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra for Toei Video Disk.
This native New Yorker comes from a long line of musicians on both sides of his family. He trained as a pianist and has been studying and performing music since childhood. His grandfather taught him sightsinging from about the age of two. His uncle was the prominent conductor Nicola Rescigno, a founder of both the Dallas and Chicago opera companies. Joseph Rescigno is a graduate of Fordham University (Phi Beta Kappa) and the Manhattan School of Music.
Maestro Rescigno studied with composer Nicolas Flagello and other distinguished teachers in the United States and Europe, including privately at l’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He went on to serve the time-honored, opera-house apprenticeship in the European manner with such influential conductors as Laszlo Halasz (founder of the New York City Opera), Bruno Maderna, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Carlo Moresco (the first director of the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company), and his uncle. Powerful influences also included pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, conductors Herbert von Karajan and Erich Leinsdorf, and Roberto Benaglio, the legendary chorus master of La Scala. Each one personally taught him something unforgettable.
Maestro Rescigno has further been privileged to collaborate with prominent musicians of three generations including instrumentalists Brigitte Engerer, Ida Haendel, Elmar Oliveira, and Pieter Wispelwey, and singers June Anderson, Angela Brown, Ghena Dimitrova, Giuseppe DiStefano, Plácido Domingo, Alfredo Kraus, Eva Marton, Johanna Meier, Erie Mills, Andrea Rost, Erika Sunnegårdh, Ruth Ann Swenson, Tatiana Troyanos, Ramón Vargas, and Deborah Voigt.
A born teacher, Joseph Rescigno has always derived tremendous gratification out of working with young musicians in student orchestras and singers in master classes. He is a past faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music and currently serves as the Music Director of La Musica Lirica festival in Italy. Multi-lingual, he readily gives lively and informative talks before performances, illustrating themes on the piano when one is available. He is working on his first book, The View From The Pit: Where Theater Meets Music.