Marco Guidarini was born in Genoa (Italy). Besides studying classical literature and philosophy, he also studied the cello at his hometown’s conservatory, which he then perfected with Maestro Andre Navarra in Vienna. Here, he started to learn orchestra conduction at the well-known “Hochschule für Musik”.
He was a student of Mario Gusella, with whom he obtained his diploma, and he also took orchestra conducting master classes with Maestro Franco Ferrara.
During his studies, he also received advice and support from Claudio Abbado and Carlo Maria Giulini.
After dedicating his younger years to his soloist and teaching activities, he accepted the invitation from the Lyon Opera to become John Eliot Gardiner’s assistant with whom he would further the understanding of the baroque repertoire with a music philology approach.
He started his conducting career in Lyon with Falstaff and Le Comte Ory and then went on to perform in the most well-known Opera Houses in the UK and Ireland (Dublin and the Wexford Festival) mainly conducting Mozart and Puccini.
He made his debut in Canada at the Vancouver Opera (Don Pasquale, La Bohème) and in Australia where he was invited for numerous productions (Tosca, die Zauberflöte, Cosi’ Fan Tutte, Orfeo ed Euridice). He conducted the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in various symphonic programs as well as the Verdi Requiem in Adelaide in 2001.
His career quickly gained momentum in the most renowned European centers and he conducted in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Geneva, Bilbao, Valencia or Rome. He conducted The Barber of Seville as his debut at both the “Deutsche Oper” in Berlin and the “Bayerische Staatsoper” in Munich.
In Italy, he got noticed with I Lombardi, Madama Butterfly and La bohème at the “Teatro Comunale di Bologna”; with Il Trovatore and Carmen in Messina; and with Macbeth, Il Trovatore (the 1847 version) and Massenet’s Roma at the Martina Franca Festival (those three productions were recorded by Dynamic).
Furthermore, he conducted I Capuleti e i Montecchi in Reggio Emilia and numerous symphonic programs with a particular look at the French repertoire (Berlioz’ Romeo and Juliet) and the 20th century classics.
His work in the United States (where he often returns) started in 1997 in Los Angeles with The Barber of Seville, Madama Butterfly and The Marriage of Figaro. He also conducted Rossini’s Semiramide in Minneapolis and in 2000; he conducted Rigoletto at the New York City Opera.
In Dallas he conducted The Barber of Seville with Jennifer Larmore and Bruce Ford with great success.
He is very much liked in France for his knowledge and interpretation of Verdi’s music.
His most successful productions included: Nabucco at the Nice Opera in 1997; Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked ball) and Don Carlo in Marseille; Otello at the Antibes Festival; Ernani, Attila and Luisa Miller in Montpellier.
However, it was during the summer of 2001 and the celebrations commemorating the 100th anniversary of Verdi’s passing that he received proper recognition. Three consecutive performances received critical acclaim from both the public and the critics: Giovanna d'Arco at the Saint Denis Festival with the “Orchestre Nationale de France”, Rigoletto at the annual lyric festival (Les Chorégies) in Orange with the same orchestra and Aida at the « Stade de France » near Paris with the “Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France”.
In 2001 he also conducted Simon Boccanegra at the New Zealand Wellington Festival, which was recorded for Trust Record.
He was also invited to conduct symphonic programs with the “Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova”, the “Orchestra Regionale Toscana” and the “Orchestra RAI di Roma”.
He intensified his activity by conducting the following orchestras several times: the SWF Symphony Orchestra of Baden-Baden, the “Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec”, “I Filarmonici di Torino”, the “Stockholm Chamber Orchestra”, the “Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai”, the “Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra”, the “Opera Orchestre National” of Montpellier and the “Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France”.
In 2002, his conducting of Rigoletto for its debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York was widely acclaimed by the public and critics alike.
Following the success of his debut in Tokyo (Bartok and Ravel), he conducted Berlioz La damnation de Faust with the “Gewandhaus Orchestra” of Leipzig.
The “Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France” invited him in 2002 to participate in a program dedicated to Ghedini and Puccini (Le Villi recorded by Naive received the best opera live recording award)
He conducted Aida (2001) and Carmen (2004) at the “Stade de France” which were both broadcast in various countries.
From Oct. 1, 2001 to Sept. 30, 2009 Marco Guidarini was the Music Director of the “Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice” basing the program and activities on the 20th century classics (Mahler, Bartok, and Strauss).
He also founded a musical ensemble of the Nice philharmonic called « Ensemble Apostrophe » focusing on 20th century music and contemporary creations.
In 2005 he was appointed artistic director of the “Festival de musique sacrée” (Sacred Music Festival). That same year, he conducted: Verdi Il Corsaro at the “Gran Teatre del Liceu” in Barcelona, Mahler Symphony No.6 in Malaga, Mahler Symphony No. 4 in Genoa, Idomeneo at the “Teatro di San Carlo” in Naples (which was made into a DVD by Dynamic), Pelléas and Mélisande at the Nice Opera House.
In November of that same year, he and his orchestra toured Japan alongside soprano singer Angela Gheorghiu and pianist Ingrid Fujiko Hemming. The concert in Tokyo was broadcasted by NHK, the main television broadcasting company in the country.
In 2006 he conducted Wozzeck and a program of Brahms’s work at the Nice Opera; Franco Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac (a DVD of which was made for Deutsche Grammophon) in Montpellier and Don Carlos in Strasbourg. In October of that year, he inaugurated the Joseph Kosma Auditorium at the Nice Conservatory and in november 3rd he became a Grand Officer of the Star of Italian Solidarity, a distinction of knighthood from the Italian Republic which is attributed by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs to recognize those who have contributed to spreading Italian culture across the world.
In 2007 he conducted Medea at the Greek Theater of Taormina; Cosi’ Fan Tutte and La vedova scaltra at the Nice Opera House; die Zauberflöte at the “Teatro di San Carlo” in Naples.
That same year he was also invited at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig to conduct a Verdi recital and in St. Petersburg to conduct the prestigious Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem.
The composer Krystof Penderecky invited him to the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw to conduct Verdi’s Otello and he made his debut with the Staadkappelen Halle in a few symphonic concerts (Shostakovich, Beethoven).
During the same year, he recorded French symphonic poems of the XIXth century (Massenet, Charpentier, and Saint-Saens) with the “Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice” for Talent Records.
In March 2008, he was invited to the Teatro Massimo di Palermo to conduct Anna Bolena and in May, he conducted the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra for La bohème and Mahler Symphony No. 9 to end the symphonic season.
In May 2008 he became a Knight of the Arts and Letters order, a French honorific title awarded by the French Ministry of Culture for artistic merits.
During the summer of 2008, he conducted Rigoletto at the Savolinna Festival in Finland and the Italian version in 5 acts of Verdi’s Don Carlo for the inauguration of the Opera House in Oslo.
For the opening of the 2008-2009 lyric season at the Nice Opera, he conducted Verdi’s Macbeth; in November the Shostakovich Symphony No. 6 and a symphonic created work ordered by the French-Argentinean composer Martin Matalon (concert for oboe and orchestra).
Creator and artistic director of the Puteaux Festival (Les Rencontres Musicales), Marco Guidarini was recognized as honorary citizen of the town of Puteaux in December 2008 along with Roberto Alagna.
In March-April 2009, he conducted Simon Boccanegra at the Canadian Opera House in Toronto. Later on, he was invited by major symphonic institutions in Spain such as the “Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias” and the “Orquesta Filarmonica de Malaga”.
During the 2009-2010 season, Marco Guidarini made his debut at “La Scala” in Milan with the conducting of Donizetti’s Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali with Antonio Albanese as stage director.
He was then invited by the “Teatro de La Maestranza” in Seville for Cyrano de Bergerac starring Roberto Alagna. He also conducted a concert in Beirut to commemorate the Independence of Lebanon in the presence of its Prime Minister.
In October, the integral Seven piano and orchestra concerts of John Field (Piano Paolo Restani) were released under the Brillant Classics label and in January 2010 the 3 concerts of violin and orchestra of Edouard Lalo (violin Yozuko Horigome) were released for Talent Records. Both releases were recorded with the “Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice”.
In December, for the second edition of the Puteaux Festival, and as artistic director, he conducted the “Ensemble Orchestral” of Paris and his own take on Prokofiev Peter and the wolf released by the Chants du Monde publishing house.
In February 2010, he conducted in concert Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at the “Teatro delle Muse di Ancona” with the Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana starring Mariella Devia in the main role.
This production was recorded under the Bongiovanni label.
In March 2010, he conducted the “Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico” in Vicenza for a symphonic concert of Schubert and Prokofiev’s works.
In May in Santiago de Chile, he conducted la Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci with great success. Then at the “Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova”, he conducted a symphonic program with Rota and Ravel’s music.
In June he made his debut at the famous “Salle Pleyel” in Paris with Berlioz la Symphonie fantastique and Beethoven Concert No. 6 with pianist Brigitte Engerer.
Still in June, at La Scala, with the students of the “Accademia”, he conducted a lyric recital. Later on, at the Bolshoi of Moscow and in St Petersburg, he conducted music from Mendelssohn and Beethoven.
In July, for the Ravello International Festival and for the Pompei celebrations in the Amphitheatre, he conducted music from Verdi and Beethoven.
In September, at the beginning of the season, he conducted a solidarity concert at the “Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova” with music from Brahms and Schumann.
In October, he came back to “La Scala” with a monographic program of Mendelssohn during the “Festa dello statuto”.
Still in 2010, he made his debut at the “Teatro Colon” in Buenos Aires with Verdi Falstaff and a symphonic concert with music from Prokofiev and Rota.
In December 2010, he became involved in the 3rd edition of the Puteaux Festival and the first International Belcanto Competition “Vincenzo Bellini”, which he created and for which he became the artistic director.
In 2011, he conducted numerous symphonic concerts in Spain and Italy at the Carlo Felice di Genova and again at La Scala.
He then conducted La Bohème in Stockholm, Rigoletto in the “Circuito Lirico Lombardo” and then La bohème at the “Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova”.
He recorded 2 CDs of Italian symphonic music with i Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan (Sgambati-Pozzoli).
In 2012, he went back to the United States to conduct a production of Don Pasquale in San Diego. Back in Europe, he conducted several concerts in Genoa (Mozart Requiem), Bilbao (Debussy-Shostakovich), Milan with Pomeriggi Musicali, Pavia with the “Accademia della Scala” (II Brahms) and finally Cagliari (Beethoven No. 5).
During the fall, he came back to Toronto for a production of Il Trovatore for the Canadian Opera Company.
Marco Guidarini studied conducting with Franco Ferrara and became assistant to Sir John-Elliot Gardiner in Lyon making his operatic debut there with Falstaff. He went on to conduct at the opera houses of New York (Metropolitan), Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Sydney, Nice, Barcelona, Seville, Bologna, Naples, Berlin (Deutsche Oper), Munich (Bayerische Staatsoper), Leipzig, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, English National Opera, Copenhagen and at many festivals.
In the concert hall, he has conducted the Orchestre National de France, Melbourne Symphony, Orchestra of the Südwestfunk Baden-Baden, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Japan Virtuoso Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus among others.
Between 2001 and 2009 Marco Guidarini was Chief Conductor of the Opera and Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice where he conducted numerous productions including Salome (French version), Pelleas et Melisande and Wozzek as well as a full annual concert series.
In October 2009, he made his debut at the Teatro alla Scala conducting a new production of Le convenienze e inconvenienze teatrali. In the summer of 2010 he conducted concerts with the orchestra of the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala at La Scala and on tour to Moscow, St. Petersburg and the festivals of Ravello and Pompeii. In the autumn of 2010 he made his debut at the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires with a new production of Falstaff and conducted Don Pasquale for San Diego, La traviata in Dallas and Il trovatore in Toronto. In Europe he conducted new productions of Cyrano de Bergerac in Seville and La Boheme in Genoa.
Between 2009 and 2012 he was Artistic Director of the Rencontres Musicales de Puteaux, a festival around the figure of Bellini who died in that town just outside Paris in 1835. He is Chairman of the Bellini Competition which arose from the festival and took place in Catania in 2012. His recordings with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice including the complete Piano Concertos of John Field and complete concertos of Lalo have recently appeared on the Talent label.