Since 2012, the Slovene Marko Letonja is Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg as well as Artistic Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
He studied piano and conducting with Professor Anton Nanut at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana. At the same time, he was a student of Professor Otmar Suitner at the Vienna Academy of Music, from which he graduated in 1989.
From 1991 to 2003, he was Musical Director of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. He has conducted orchestras including the Wiener Symphoniker, Münchner and Bremen Philharmoniker, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne and Monterey Symphony Orchestras, the Orchestra Sinfonica "Giuseppe Verdi" Milan on tour and the opera orchestras of Cagliari and Stockholm (with Nina Stemme).
From 2003 to 2006, he was Music Director and Chief Conductor of both the Symphony Orchestra and the Opera in Basel, where he conducted new productions of Tannhäuser, La Traviata, Der Freischütz, Boris Godunov, Tristan und Isolde, Rigoletto and Don Giovanni, among others. In addition, he made multiple recordings with the Basel Symphony Orchestra.
He has led Pique Dame at the Grand Théâtre de Genève and at the Vienna State Opera, Roméo et Juliette at the Teatro dell'Opera of Rome, Nabucco at Semperoper Dresden, Il dissoluto assolto/Sancta Susanna, The Makropoulos Case and Les Contes d’Hoffmann at La Scala Milan, La Cenerentola at the Opéra National de Montpellier, Rigoletto at the West Australian Opera in Perth, Madama Butterfly at the Staatsoper Berlin and Die Walküre at Opéra du Rhin, Pagliacci, Cavalleria rusticana and Flying Dutchman at the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari, Carmen in concert with the Munich Rundfunkorchester, La Traviata at Deutsche Oper Berlin. After performances of Die Walküre and Siegfried at the Teatro Sao Carlos in Lisbon, he returned there for Götterdämmerung in autumn 2009.
Further opera projects include From the House of the dead, Flying Dutchman and Pique Dame at the Strasbourg Opera, Pique Dame and Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Vienna State Opera, Romeo et Juliette at Arena di Verona as well as Medea at the Geneva Opera.
On a major New Zealand/Australian tour in the summer 2007, he conducted concerts with the Auckland Philharmonia, the Orchestra Victoria and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Beginning with season 2008/09 he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of Orchestra Victoria Melbourne.
Further concerts are scheduled with the Munich Rundfunkorchester, Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra and the orchestra of the Teatro Bellini in Catania.