He has been appointed resident conductor and artistic director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 2005, and from 2006 permanent conductor of the English National Opera (ENO) in London. He has a very close relationship with the Dresden Staatskapelle which he has conducted for almost 3 decades (he first worked with them when he was only 20 years old), with the Munich Philharmonic and the Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra of Milan. His recent operatic performances include Un Ballo in Maschera at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Turandot and Otello at La Scala in Milan, The Magic Flute at the San Francisco Opera, La Fanciulla del West in Seattle, The Golden Cockerel at the Toulouse Opera, Khovanshchina at the English National Opera, Don Pasquale with the Florence Maggio Musicale, The Flying Dutchman at the Rome Opera, as well as numerous concert events.
It was Nadia Boulanger who discovered his talent and initiated him into music, following his progress for several years. At the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome he studied orchestral conducting with Franco Ferrara and composition with Irma Ravinale. He went on to study with Kiril Kondrashin and took his diploma with Ilia Mussin at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.
He won the RAI Competition in Turin in 1979 and the Karajan Competition in Berlin in 1982. He began his career at the Berlin Staatsoper after which he had several permanent posts with German orchestras and opera houses, including Weimar, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden and Chemnitz.