Lorenzo Guggenheim is an emerging orchestra conductor who is rooted in his artistic integrity and a fresh perspective on music, redefining what it means to lead an orchestra in the 21st century. With his innate passion, inspiring leadership, and captivating smile, Lorenzo welcomes audiences to become active participants by reshaping tradition in favour of dynamic and spontaneous performances.
Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lorenzo arrived in Canada in 2018 where he serves as the Music Director of the Oakville Symphony and the University of Toronto Campus Philharmonic Orchestra which he founded. At the height of the pandemic, he founded the Canadian Studio Symphony with which he recorded Evocations, an album of new music by Felipe Téllez. He is recognized for his inspiring programming which includes innovative ways of presenting familiar music, as well as underrepresented composers and new music.
His journey as a conductor began with breakthrough opportunities at a young age. At 23, Lorenzo was chosen to conduct at the world-renowned Teatro Colón and immediately afterward conducted the National Symphony of Chile. Yet, one of his most memorable experiences happened at the Royal Ontario Museum, introducing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 to an audience of more than a thousand families and first-timers. They were incredibly excited to discover that classical music was indeed for them – the same feeling Lorenzo had when he listened to the Orquesta Simón Bolívar on tour as a teenager in Argentina.
Throughout his career, Lorenzo has received critical acclaim for his conducting engagements, such as the Orquesta Sinfónica de Mar del Plata, where he was regarded as "an expert, perfectionist, and seriously formed conductor." In 2018, he conducted the North American premiere of Toshio Hosokawa's The Maiden from the Sea, receiving praise for his leadership and the ensemble's “gorgeous texture of sound” (Christopher Hoile from Stage Door).
During his first season at the Oakville Symphony, the orchestra received the largest gift in its history from the Youssef-Warren Foundation and a significant grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Lorenzo’s strategic focus on community advocacy helped create a program for youth under 18 to attend concerts for free – making up to 20% of the full audience attending. He has brought a fresh eye to programming, working with the Board of Directors to design unique concert experiences such as candle lighting and music outside the stage, and strengthened the Oakville Symphony’s commitment to diversity with a fourth of the music programmed being by female composers, more than three times Canada’s median. The 2023-24 season includes the Canadian premiere of the Symphony in B minor (1904) by Leokadiya Kashperova, Jessie Montgomery's Overture and a commission from Nadya Poklad, a Ukrainian composer now based in Oakville. This season will also see the first appearance by one of Canada’s most sought-after virtuosos, Jonathan Crow, concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, to perform Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2.
He grew up exposed to a diverse range of influences, from Debussy – which his mother played for him in the womb – to Pink Floyd and Thelonious Monk, as well as traditional Argentine songs. After starting piano lessons at age fourteen a new world opened for which he “needed to know all about.” This path of curiosity led him to pursue a lifelong path of learning which includes bachelor’s, diploma, master’s and doctoral degrees in conducting. For the latter, he is researching the music of Franz Schreker, a Nazi-banned and persecuted composer, with an article to be published by Antares Publishing/York University at the end of the year.
His passion for conducting has taken him to international masterclasses, where he has worked with renowned mentors such as Bramwell Tovey, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Alexander Shelley, Christian Mācelaru, Steven Sloane, Ken Kiesler and Mark Gibson. He conducted the Jerusalem Symphony as part of its first Conducting Academy thanks to a development grant from the Canada Arts Council and the sponsorship of the Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation.
Lorenzo thrives in collaborative environments and has served as an Assistant Conductor for the debut of the Berlin Academy of American Music at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie. Additionally, he has collaborated with the Seattle Symphony's Prokofiev and Shostakovich Festivals for conductor Pablo Rus Broseta and worked as a Fellow for Music Director Ludovic Morlot for two seasons.
Additionally, Lorenzo holds positions as Assistant Conductor of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Music Ensemble. Alongside his conducting engagements, he is dedicated to championing the symphonic repertoire of Franz Schreker, as part of his Doctoral Studies under the mentorship of Uri Mayer.