sealPurdue News

October 17, 2002

New ISO conductor makes Purdue stop on debut weekend

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Mario Venzago, the newly appointed conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, will lead the orchestra as part of his debut weekend at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, in Elliott Hall of Music.

Admission is $8, $16, $22 and $30 for general public; $8, $14, $16 and $19 for Purdue students and children K-12. Tickets can be purchased at Purdue box offices or charged by phone at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is presented by Purdue Convocations.

The Swiss-born Venzago's fresh, spontaneous approach have made him a sought-after conductor of both operatic and symphonic repertoire.

"You can't convince musicians with words," he has said. "You have to convince them by your vision that must be so strong that they feel it and come to you. You can conduct without a baton, you can conduct without your hands, but you can't conduct without a strong vision."

Venzago's vision has taken on a high profile throughout Indiana and among classical music aficionados nationwide since his appointment in late April as the new music director for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Venzago was selected after a four-year search process to replace longtime conductor – and now conductor laureate – Raymond Leppard.

During the 2002-03 season, the dynamic conductor will lead three concert weekends, the first of which will conclude with the symphony's Nov. 3 Elliott Hall performance. The program, part of the ISO's yearlong "Celebration of America," is entitled "America — The New World," and will feature acclaimed cellist, Lynn Harrell.

In the announcement of Venzago's appointment, ISO board chair James Steichen said: "In Mario Venzago, the symphony has gained a musical leader of worldwide reputation and extraordinary vision. His ability to see endless possibility, his utter joy in music-making and great warmth and humanity make him ideally suited to lead this orchestra into the 21st century."

Venzago, who will be only the sixth music director for the ISO, said: "I am extremely pleased and very proud to have been chosen. I have enormous respect and admiration for American orchestras and look forward to bringing my best to this wonderful orchestra. Together we will create magic for the public."

CONTACT: Larry Sommers, Purdue Convocations, (765) 494-5045,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Publication-quality photographs of Mario Venzago and cellist Lynn Harrell are available at and

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page