Choir conducting masterclass
José Luis Basso
Choir Master of the Paris Opéra
Born in Buenos Aires and of Italo-Argentian nationality, José Luis Basso studied piano and orchestral conducting at the University of his hometown. He was appointed Chorus Master at the Teatro Argentino in La Plata where he spent four years preparing operatic and choral works. In 1987, a grant permitted him to pursue his studies at Temple University in Philadelphia. In 1989, he took up the post of Chorus Master at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. That same year, he conducted the chorus of the Buenos Aires Wagner Association and in 1994, he became assistant to the celebrated Chorus master at La Scala Milan, Romano Gandofi.
He was then appointed Chorus Master at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples where he brought to the Opera Chorus a new dynamism, his conducting of Lohengrin and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony attracting considerable acclaim.
In 1996, he joined the Maggio Musicale Fiorentine where he prepared the choir for Parsifal conducted by Semyon Bychkov, Turandot with Zubin Mehta and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk for which he received the INA-Assitalia Galileo Prize for young conductors 2000. In April 2001, he accompanied the Orchestra and Chorus to Tokyo for the inauguration of the “Italy in Japan 2001” event. He has made a number of recordings for Decca including Turandot, La Bohème, Tosca and Aroldo. As chorus master, he has been invited to the Shanghai Opera, the Mariinski Theatre in Saint Petersburg and the Lyon Opera for Aïda and Carmina Burana.
In 2003, he won a Grammy Award with the Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the soprano Renée Fleming for the album Bel Canto. In the course of the last two decades, he has worked alongside many of the world’s leading conductors: Zubin Mehta, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Georges Prêtre, Antonio Pappano, Seiji Ozawa, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Carlo Maria Giulini, Myung-Whun Chung, Peter Schreier, Bruno Bartoletti, Rafael Frühbeck De Burgos, Semyon Bychkov, Daniel Oren, Valery Gergiev, Stéphane Denève, Jordi Savall, Fabio Luisi, Marc Piollet, Pinchas Steinberg, Michael Boder, Sebastian Weigle, Gerd Albrecht and Josep Pons. From 2004 to 2014 he was Chorus Master and Artistic Consultant at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelone.
Since September 2014 he has been Chorus Master of the Paris Opera.