Appointed Principal Guest Conductor of Orchestra Victoria Melbourne, beginning in the 2008/09 season, the Slovene Marko Letonja 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 Philharmoniker, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne and Monterey Symphony Orchestras as well as the Orchestra Sinfonica "Giuseppe Verdi" Milan on tour.
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. He is again returning to Australia/New Zealand for concert tours 2009.
Further concerts are scheduled with the opera orchestras of Cagliari and Stockholm (with Nina Stemme), as well as with the Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra.
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, Roméo et Juliette at the Teatro dell'Opera of Rome, Nabucco at Semperoper Dresden, Il dissoluto assolto/Sancta Susanna and The Makropoulos Case at La Scala Milan, La Cenerentola at the Opéra National de Montpellier, Rigoletto at the West Australian Opera in Perth, Madame Butterfly at the Staatsoper Berlin and Die Walküre at the Strassburg Opera.
After performances of Die Walküre and Siegfried at the Teatro Sao Carlos in Lisbon, he returns for Götterdämmerung in 2009. Further opera projects include Götterdämmerung at the Strasburg Opera, Pagliacci and Cavalleria rusticana at the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari, Carmen in concert with the Munich Rundfunkorchester and La Traviata at Deutsche Oper Berlin.