Marko Letonja live in Tasmania

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Marko Letonja is already a household name throughout Europe, with a reputation for impressing audiences with his unique take on classical music.

But this year, the Slovenian musical maestro is preparing to call Tasmania home after taking on the role of chief conductor and artistic director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO).

Letonja will step up to the rostrum for the first time in his new role this Friday (March 3), guiding the TSO through Tchaiovsky's world-famous Piano Concerto No 1 played by Ukrainian-born Australian pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk.

Highlights of the program include pieces from Prokoiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet, as well as Peter Sculthorpe's Kakadu.

To mark the opening of the TSO’s 2012 season, guests will be invited to enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling wine during interval.

Letonja intends to put his  mark on one of the country's smallest but most successful orchestras.

The appointment will see Latonja succeed Sebastian Lang-Lessing, who was responsible for helping to modernise the organisation with the release of a number of popular CDs and the annual Sydney season.

In an interview with the ABC's LimeLight, the conductor said he was keen to build on his earlier success at the TSO, having led the orchestra on two prior occasions, and attract big names to the group's line up.

"You cannot simply call someone up in Europe and say, 'Come and play a concert!' But there are plenty of artists I'm determined to bring to Hobart," he commented.

On the list of people Letonja would like to see perform in the island state are Argentinian cellist Sol Gabetta and Nicolas Alsteadt – a BBC New Generation Artist and winner of multiple awards in Germany – as well as young conductors such as Consantin Caridis, Jakub Hrusa, and Sacha Goetzel.

TSO 2012 season header

Marko Letonja

Federation Concert Hall, home of the TSO

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