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Musical World

Franz Welser-Most

  • Conductor

Biography

On 1 September 2010 Franz Welser-Möst became Generalmusikdirektor of the Vienna Staatsoper, having been appointed Generalmusikdirektor Designate in 2007. His long partnership with the company has included acclaimed performances of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, and during the 2007/8 and 2008/9 seasons he undertook a new production of Wagner’s Ring cycle with director Sven-Eric Bechtolf. In 2010/11 he conducts, among other performances, new productions of Cardillac and Katya Kabanova.

In recent years, Mr Welser-Möst has developed an increasingly close relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2010 he conducted the orchestra’s Sommernacht concert in the grounds of Schönbrunn Palace, and in 2011 he conducts the celebrated New Year’s Concert. In 2009 he conducted the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals, at the BBC Proms in London, and in a special concert in Vienna to mark the 150th anniversary of the Vienna Singverein.

Franz Welser-Möst also appears regularly with the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, and has conducted all the major U.S. orchestras including the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia. He made his Salzburg Festival debut in 1985, and was Music Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1990-96.

In the course of a long association with the Zurich Opera, Franz Welser-Möst served as Chief Conductor from 1995-2002, Principal Conductor from 2002-5, and from 2005-8 as the company’s General Musikdirektor. During this time, he led more than forty new productions - many of which were recorded on DVD by EMI - and toured to London, Paris, and Tokyo.

Mr Welser-Möst’s recordings, both on CD and on DVD, have won a number of major awards, including the Gramophone Award, the Diapason d’Or, the Japanese Record Academy Award and two Grammy nominations. DVD releases include Zurich Opera productions of Der Rosenkavalier, La bohème, Fierrabras, Don Giovanni and Peter Grimes for EMI, and Bruckner’s Symphonies number 5, 7 and 9 with The Cleveland Orchestra. Recent CD releases include a live recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with The Cleveland Orchestra, and an all-Wagner album featuring Measha Brueggergosman, both for Deutsche Grammophon.

Franz Welser-Möst is an honorary member of the Vienna Singverein. He was named Conductor of the Year by Musical America in 2003, and is the co-author of Cadences: Observations and Conversations, published in 2007.