The Swiss conductor, Mario Venzago, behan his piano studies began at age 5. He studied at the conservatory and the university in Zürich. He later studied conducting with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna and with Leonard Bernstein.
Mario Venzago began his musical career as a concert pianist at Radiotelevisione Svizerra (Swiss broadcast station in Lugano, in Switzerland). For 10 years he performed throughout Europe as a soloist and accompanist (also playing the harpsichord).
Mario Venzago began his conductiong career in the 1970's in Europe. He served as Music Director of the Musikkollegium Winterthur (Stadtorchester Winterthur) (1978-1986) and Lucerne Opera House, and he served as Principal Conductor for the broadcast recordings of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva until 1986. His other positions have included Music director of the Theatre and Philharmonic Orchestra of the City of Heidelberg (1986-1989), Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Frankfurt (now Bremen) (1989-1992), Graz Opera and Graz Philharmonic Orchestra (1990-1995), Sinfonieorchester Basel (1997-2003), Basque National Orchestra in San Sebastian (Orquesta de Euskadi; 1998-2001), Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (2002-2009). From 2000 to 2003, he was Artistic Director of the Baltimore Summer Fest as successor to Pinchas Zukermann and David Zinman. From 2010 to 2014 he was Principal Conductor of the Royal Northern Sinfonia. From 2004 to 2007, he was Principal Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (The National Orchestra of Sweden). During his tenure, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra developed a new sensitivity for the central European repertoire, with composers such as Robert Schumann, Bruckner, Ravel, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Janáček. His interpretations are characterised by their flexibility, precision and attention to detail. He became is the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bern Symphony Orchestra with the 2010-2011 season. He is also Artist in Association at Finland's Tapiola Sinfonietta.
Mario Venzago made his American debut in 1988 at the Hollywood Bowl while he was a conducting fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute studying with Leonard Bernstein. His distinguished conducting career has included engagements with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala and NHK Symphony Orchestra. He is a regular guest conductor with internationally renowned symphony orchestras such as the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, and prestigious chamber orchestras including the Tapiola Sinfonietta and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. He has also conducted at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals, among many others.
Mario Venzago has given concerts with the world's finest concert artists and singers, and has collaborated with such famous stage directors as Ruth Berghaus, Peter Konwitschny and Hans Neuenfels.
Together with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Mario Venzago has recorded the music of Rosenberg and Sofia Gubaidulina (BIS), the complete orchestral works of Alban Berg and the compilation CD “Europe’s Finest” (GSO). Several of his CD's have won international prizes such as the Grand Prix du Disque, the Diapason d'or and the Edison Award. His recordings of the operas Venus and Penthesilea and of all choral works by Othmar Schoeck with the MDR Choir and MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig received great international recognition and prestigious awards, as did his first film, My Brother the Conductor by Alberto Venzago, which was shown in cinemas across Europe and brought out on DVD. In the spring of 2015, the collaboration between Mario Venzago and the label CPO on the project "The Other Bruckner" with all ten Bruckner symphonies, was completed. The individual releases, acclaimed by international critics, are available from CPO, as are the complete CD box and a documentary film.