RICO SACCANI most recently served as Music Director/Artistic Adviser of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra and was principal guest conductor of the Hungarian State Opera. He won top prize in the Herbert von Karajan International Conducting Competition in Berlin. He was immediately engaged to perform with the Berlin and Stuttgart Radio Orchestras, the Royal Danish Philharmonic and the Spoleto Festival. His opera debut came in 1985 in Verdi’s Un Giorno di Regno at the Teatro Filarmonico di Verona. La Traviata at the Paris Opera and the Vienna State Opera, Il Turco in Italia at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro plus La Bohème at the Philadelphia Opera with Luciano Pavarotti for the PBS American television network immediately followed.
He has returned on numerous occasions as a guest conductor with the most important symphony orchestras around the globe. He has also worked with many of the world’s greatest solo artists. Maestro Saccani has also appeared at the Hamburg State Opera, the Lyon Opera, the Monte-carlo Opera, the Arena de Nimes Festival, the Paris Opera Comique, Rome, Dresden and Cologne Operas. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Il Trovatore and re-engaged for the first international radio broadcast of Traviata and Aida. He was also invited to conduct at the Teatro San Carlo (Naples), the Arena di Verona (Rigoletto), the Houston Grand Opera, the Puccini Festival Torre del Lago (Turandot), the Teatro Bellini di Catania (La Favorita and I Puritani) as well as the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Avenches Swiss Festival and the Santander Summer Music Festival in Spain. Maestro Saccani initiated a “Verdi Marathon” in the Hungarian State Opera house in January 2000 celebrating the Millennium where he conducted seven Verdi operas in 9 evenings. He returned to New York’s Carnegie Hall and Washington’s Kennedy Center that same year with the Iceland Symphony as their Music Director on their acclaimed North American tour.
In 2005 he received Hungary’s Legion of Honor award recognizing his “distinguished contributions to Hungary’s cultural life for over 20 years”.