Massimo Zanetti: “The 4 years I spent with Gyeonggi Phil were like magic”

Feature "Massimo Zanetti, the music director of the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra, announced his resignation during the Conference on the 18th of July. Music director Zanetti will end her four-year tenure with 'Verdi Requiem', which will be performed at the Gyeonggi Arts Center and Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul on the 23rd and 25th." Byung-Ho JangEDaily

Music director Zanetti said, “If I had to describe the past four years with GPhil in one word, it would be ‘Magic’”, he said.

Zanetti is a world-class conductor from Italy and has been the music director since September 2018. He served a two-year term, extending his term once in 2019 to lead Gyeonggi Phil until this year. Since his inauguration, he has selected various repertoires such as Mozart, Brahms, Schumann, Beethoven, and Debussy, and is evaluated to have led to the remarkable growth of Gyeonggi Phil.

As the greatest achievement of Gyeonggi-phil over the past four years, he cited “giving fluidity to the orchestra”. Music director Zanetti said, “As Gyeonggi-phil, I intended to create ‘our own way of playing’. We tried, and as a result, the orchestra had a more transparent timbre and created a way of interacting with it. There were no musical difficulties in the past four years with the musicians.

However, he expressed a strong regret that he could not perform many performances due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to music director Zanetti, since Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in December 2019, he has performed only about 10 concerts. He said, “It’s a pity that I couldn’t deal with French composers in depth, and it’s a pity that I couldn’t play Tchaikovsky in a different way.

It is significant that Verdi’s Requiem was selected as a retirement performance to comfort the souls of the dead. Music director Zanetti laughed, saying, “I originally planned to perform in 2020, but it was postponed due to a pandemic, so I did not intentionally select it as my last performance before retirement.”

Nevertheless, he said, “The requiem of Brahms, Schumann, and Mozart emphasized that ‘humanity must accept death naturally,’ whereas the requiem of Beethoven and Verdi emphasized the message that ‘death is not a fate that mankind must accept, but something to be fought against’. I think it’s a timely song in the midst of a pandemic, war, economic downturn, and climate crisi.”

Music director Zanetti said that even after leaving the Gyeonggi phil, if there was a chance to perform on the Korean stage, he would come back. “I would like to thank the Korean audience for always supporting me and Gyeonggi-phil. I will remember for a long time how Gyeonggi-phil developed along with the audience. If there is even a slight chance that we can do it again in the future, we will do it together.”