Paolo Olmi was a student of Franco Ferrara and Massimo Pradella. He has conducted opera and concert productions all over the world (Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia), as well as at the most important Italian concert and theatrical institutions. In 1986 he began his international career conducting a tour of the English Chamber Orchestra with Soloist Mstislav Rostropovich, performing in the principal Italian theatres, among which Teatro alla Scala in Milan.
He has dedicated his time to important operatic productions such as: Moses in Egypt at the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome (reproduced at the Staatsoper in Munich following an invitation by Wolfgang Sawallisch); William Tell at the Théâtre des Champes Elysées in Paris, direction and scenography by Pier Luigi Pizzi (for which he was awarded the Grand Prize of the French Critics for the best performance of the year 1989); Nabucco in concert form at the Royal Festival Hall in London; Manon Lescaut at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
In 1992 he achieved great success at the newly inaugurated Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa with the first edition in modern times of Le Siège de Corinthe by Rossini, which was also recorded for disc.
In 1994 he conducted Verdi's Requiem in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Teatro Comunale in Florence, Moses in Egypt at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. In December of the same year he conducted a successful new stage design for Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart at the Opéra de Lyon, also reproduced in Paris. In France, in Strasbourg, he also conducted the stage designs for Tosca, Don Carlos, Ernani and, for the occasion of the celebrations of the end of the semester of the Italian presidency in the European Union in June 1996, Stabat Mater by Rossini. In the same year he conducted Madama Butterfly in Copenhagen and Don Pasquale in Chicago.
In 1992 he conducted regularly at the Deutsch Oper in Berlin (La Forza del Destino, Il Trovatore, La Fanciulla del West and Aida), Hamburg (Il Barbiere di Siviglia and La Forza del Destino), Stuttgart (Otello and Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and Dresden (La Bohème).
In 1999 he conducted L'Elisir d'Amore in the recently renovated Teatro Reale in Madrid and, in September 1998, he inaugurated the brand new Teatro dell'Opera in Shanghai in China with Aida, with stage design by the Teatro Comunale in Florence. He also conducted Otello by Verdi in Peking, in a stage design in Covent Garden, in November 2000. On the Orient he is frequently a guest at the International Festival in Macau.
Paolo Olmi is also very much engaged in the world of symphonic music. He has, in fact, conducted, among other things, the Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Staatskapelle in Dresden, Radio France Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Orchestra of London, the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, the Dallas, Pittsburg and Oslo Symphonic Orchestras, the Jerusalem Symphony, the Covent Garden Orchestra of London, the Monte Carlo Orchestra. With the Schleswig-Holstein Orchestra he conducted an important tour in Germany which involved the Berlin Philharmonie, the Alte Oper of Frankfurt and the Philharmonie am Gasteig of Munich. From 1991 to 1993 he was the principal guest conductor and artistic consultant for the Symphonic Orchestra of Rai in Rome, with whom he recorded the complete Symphonies of Mendelssohn for Italian television.
In 1997 he conducted the Tirana Christmas Concert given by the Italian Government and by RAI to the Albanian Government, and on November 5th, 1998, he conducted for the occasion of the 20th year of the pontificate of John Paul II, a concert which was broadcast all over the world in the presence of the Pope.
In January 2001 he participated in the Verdi celebrations conducting the chorus and orchestra of the BBC in London in the Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura in Rome as well as in other Italian cities.
Included the the most recent engagements of Paolo Olmi are the Istanbul Festival where he conducted the Santa Cecilia ensembles working together at the Philharmonic of Teatro alla Scala for the commemoration of Bellini and Verdi, Rigoletto in the port of Rotterdam for the celebrations of "Rotterdam city FOR 2001 culture" and he was very successful at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam conducting Les Vespres Siciliennes by Verdi.
Over the last few years he has frequently been a guest at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, where he conducted by Un Ballo in maschera, Nabucco and Messa di Requiem, L'Elisir d'amore (which was made into a dvd) and Lucia di Lammermoor and where he will return in 2003 to conduct Norma.
Following the great success he received in Andrea Chenier at the Teatro Regio in Turin a short time ago, future engagements for Paolo Olmi include the Palafenice in Venice, once again in Andrea Chenier, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam for symphonic concerts and for Jerusalem by Verdi and at the Teatro Verdi in Trieste for Così fan Tutte in the historic stage design by Giorgio Strehler.
Paolo Olmi periodically gives master classes for orchestra at one of the best English music academies, the Guildhall School of Music in London, with which on April 16th next he will give the traditional Easter Concert which will be broadcast on Rai 3.