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One of today’s most celebrated conductors, Franz Welser-Möst leads two of the world’s great cultural institutions as Music Director of The Cleveland Orchestra and General Music Director of the Vienna Staatsoper. 2013/14 marks his twelfth season in Cleveland, and in 2008 his contract was extended until the orchestra's centennial year in 2018. With The Cleveland Orchestra he has built close relationships with Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals. Mr Welser-Möst and the orchestra have also held an annual residency in Miami (since 2007) and a biennial residency at New York's Lincoln Center (since 2011).  With The Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Möst has presented over thirteen world and fifteen United States premieres, and in recent seasons he has led a sequence of fully-staged productions of the Mozart/Da Ponte operas which have re-established The Cleveland Orchestra as an operatic ensemble. Highlights of the 13/14 season include a sequence of subscription performances pairing the symphonies of Beethoven and Shostakovich, Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen in a semi-staged production, and a series of Brahms symphonies and concerts to be recorded for future DVD release.

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One of today’s most celebrated conductors, Franz Welser-Möst leads two of the world’s great cultural institutions as Music Director of The Cleveland Orchestra and General Music Director of the Vienna Staatsoper.

2013/14 marks his twelfth season in Cleveland, and in 2008 his contract was extended until the orchestra's centennial year in 2018. With The Cleveland Orchestra he has built close relationships with Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals. Mr Welser-Möst and the orchestra have also held an annual residency in Miami (since 2007) and a biennial residency at New York's Lincoln Center (since 2011).  With The Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Möst has presented over thirteen world and fifteen United States premieres, and in recent seasons he has led a sequence of fully-staged productions of the Mozart/Da Ponte operas which have re-established The Cleveland Orchestra as an operatic ensemble. Highlights of the 13/14 season include a sequence of subscription performances pairing the symphonies of Beethoven and Shostakovich, Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen in a semi-staged production, and a series of Brahms symphonies and concerts to be recorded for future DVD release.

Since 2010 Franz Welser-Möst has served as General Music Director of the Vienna Staatsoper. His long partnership with the company has included an acclaimed new production of Wagner's Ring cycle with director Sven-Eric Bechtolf – ‘dynamics controlled patience, intimate poetry: all there’ [der Standard | May 2013] – and, in his first two seasons as General Music Director, critically-praised new productions of Hindemith’s Cardillac, Janacek’s Katya Kabanova and From the House of the Dead and Verdi’s Don Carlo. 2013/14 sees him lead new productions of La Fanciulla del West and The Cunning Little Vixen, as well as revivals of last season's acclaimed stagings of Ariadne auf Naxos and Tristan und Isolde, and the Staatsoper's long-standing major productions of Don Carlo, Fidelio, Parsifal, La Boheme and Der Rosenkavalier.

As a guest conductor, Mr Welser-Möst also enjoys an exceptionally close and productive relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 2013 he had the honour of leading the orchestra’s celebrated New Year’s Day Concert for the second time in three years, with the CD recordings of his appearance both in 2011 and in 2013 now having reached double-platinum status.  He has also performed with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals, at the BBC Proms, at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, at the Sommernacht concert in the grounds of Schönbrunn Palace, and on a regular basis in the orchestra’s subscription series at the Vienna Musikverein. He returns to them in 2013/14 season for a series of concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York and for appearances in Linz, Berkeley (California) and Sarajevo.

Elsewhere, Mr Welser-Möst has guest-conducted all the leading orchestras in Europe and the US, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, and the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.  He made his Salzburg Festival debut in 1985, was Music Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1990-96, and led the orchestra and ensemble of the Zurich Opera, latterly as General Music Director, from 1995-2008. In 2013/14 Mr Welser-Möst will appear with the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Bavarian Radio Symphony in programmes of Rihm and Widmann, spotlighting his continued advocacy of contemporary music.

Mr Welser-Möst's recordings, both on CD and 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.  Recent recordings with The Cleveland Orchestra include DVDs of Bruckner’s Symphonies Nos. 5, 7, 8 and 9, and CD recordings for Deutsche Grammophon of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Wagner excerpts featuring Measha Brueggergosman.

Franz Welser-Möst is the recipient of many honours, including honorary membership of the Vienna Singverein, the Gold Medal of Upper Austria, the Decoration of Honour from the Republic of Austria and the Kilenyi Medal of Honour from the Bruckner Society of America.  He was named Conductor of the Year by Musical America in 2003.  He is an Academician of the European Academy of Yuste, and is the co-author of Cadences: Observations and Conversations. In 2014 he was awarded the prestigious ‘Ehrenring’ of the Vienna Philharmonic, in recognition of his long-standing personal and artistic relationship with the orchestra.

September 2013. No previously dated versions are authorised for publication. This biography must not be edited in any way without prior permission from IMG Artists.

 

GERMAN BIOGRAPHY

Franz Welser-Möst ist einer der berühmtesten Dirigenten unserer Zeit und leitet als Musikdirektor des Cleveland Orchestra und als Generalmusikdirektor der Wiener Staatsoper zwei weltweit renommierte Kulturinstitutionen.

Die Saison 2013/14 ist seine 12. Spielzeit in Cleveland, und bereits 2008 wurde sein Vertrag bis zum 100-jährigen Jubiläum des Orchesters 2018 verlängert. Mit dem Cleveland Orchestra hat er enge Beziehungen zur Carnegie Hall, dem Wiener Musikverein, der Suntory Hall in Tokio sowie den Salzburger Festspielen und dem Lucerne Festival aufgebaut. Darüber hinaus gastieren er und sein Orchester seit 2007 jährlich in Miami und seit 2011 alle zwei Jahre am New Yorker Lincoln Center. Als Dirigent des Cleveland Orchestra leitete Welser-Möst bereits mehr als 13 Welturaufführungen und über 15 US-Premieren sowie in den letzten Jahren eine Reihe aufwändiger Bühneninszenierungen von Mozarts Da-Ponte-Opern, mit denen sich das Cleveland Orchestra wieder als Opernorchester etablieren konnte. Zu den Höhepunkten der kommenden Spielzeit zählen eine Reihe von Abonnementskonzerten mit Symphonien von Beethoven und Schostakowitsch, eine halbszenische Aufführung von Janáčeks Das schlaue Füchslein sowie Aufnahmen von Brahms-Symphonien und Konzerten, die später auf DVD erscheinen werden.

Seit 2010 ist Welser-Möst Generalmusikdirektor der Wiener Staatsoper. Während seiner langjährigen Zusammenarbeit mit diesem Haus entstand unter anderem eine Neuinszenierung von Wagners Ring in der Regie von Sven-Eric Bechtolf – »Dynamik, kontrollierte Ungeduld, innige Lyrik: alles da« [Der Standard, Mai 2013]. In seinen ersten drei Spielzeiten als Generalmusikdirektor leitete er dort von der Kritik hochgelobte Neuinszenierungen von Hindemiths Cardillac, Janáčeks Katja Kabanowa und Aus einem Totenhaus sowie Verdis Don Carlo. 2013/14 werden wir ihn in Neuinszenierungen von La fanciulla del West und Das schlaue Füchslein erleben, in Wiederaufnahmen zweier gefeierter Neuinszenierungen der letzten Spielzeit – Ariadne auf Naxos und Tristan und Isolde – sowie in weiteren Vorstellungen der etablierten Repertoirewerke Don Carlo, Fidelio, Parsifal, La Bohème und Der Rosenkavalier.

Als Gastdirigent hat Welser-Möst eine besonders enge und produktive Beziehung zu den Wiener Philharmonikern entwickelt und durfte dieses Orchester 2013 bereits zum zweiten Mal innerhalb von nur drei Jahren bei seinem legendären Neujahrskonzert dirigieren; die CD-Veröffentlichungen der beiden Neujahrskonzerte unter seiner Leitung (2011 und 2013) haben mittlerweile beide doppelten Platin-Status erreicht. Auch bei den Salzburger Festspielen, dem Lucerne Festival, den BBC Proms-Konzerten, in der Suntory Hall in Tokio und beim Sommernachtskonzert Schönbrunn waren die Wiener Philharmoniker bereits unter Welser-Mösts Leitung zu hören; außerdem dirigiert er sie regelmäßig bei Abonnementskonzerten im Wiener Musikverein. 2013/14 wird er gemeinsam mit den Wiener Philharmonikern eine Reihe von Konzerten in der New Yorker Carnegie Hall geben und einzelne Auftritte in Linz, Berkeley (Kalifornien) und Sarajewo absolvieren.

Welser-Möst war darüber hinaus bereits bei allen führenden Orchestern Europas und der USA zu Gast, darunter die Berliner Philharmoniker, das Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, das Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester und die Symphoniker bzw. Philharmoniker von Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York und Philadelphia. 1985 gab er sein Debüt bei den Salzburger Festspielen, 1990–96 war er Musikdirektor des London Philharmonic und 1995–2008 leitete er zunächst als Dirigent und später als Generalmusikdirektor das Orchester und das Ensemble des Opernhauses Zürich. 2013/14 wird Welser-Möst, der sich stets für die zeitgenössische Musik engagiert, mit der Staatskapelle Dresden und dem Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks Werke von Rihm und Widmann aufführen.

Welser-Mösts CD- und DVD-Aufnahmen wurden mehrfach mit internationalen Preisen ausgezeichnet – darunter der Gramophone Award, der Diapason d’Or und der Japanese Record Academy Award – und zweimal für den Grammy Award nominiert. Zu den jüngsten Aufnahmen mit dem Cleveland Orchestra zählen DVDs mit Bruckners Symphonien Nr. 4, 5, 7, 8 & 9 (Arthaus) sowie jeweils eine CD mit Beethovens Neunter Symphonie und mit Werken von Richard Wagner (beide Deutsche Grammophon). Die Aufzeichnung von Anton Bruckners 4. Symphonie, eingespielt vom Cleveland Orchestra wurde von der Amerikanischen Bruckner Gesellschaft als Bruckner video recording of the year ausgezeichnet.

Welser-Möst erhielt bereits zahlreiche Ehrungen und Auszeichnungen. Er ist Ehrenmitglied des Wiener Singvereins und Träger des Großen Goldenen Ehrenzeichens des Landes Oberösterreich, des Österreichischen Ehrenkreuzes für Wissenschaft und Kunst sowie der Kilenyi Medal of Honour der Amerikanischen Bruckner-Gesellschaft. 2003 wählte ihn die Zeitschrift Musical America zum Dirigenten des Jahres. Er ist Mitglied der Europäischen Akademie Yuste und Co-Autor von Kadenzen: Notizen und Gespräche (Styria 2007).
September 2013. Ältere Fassungen sind von der Veröffentlichung ausgeschlossen. Diese Biografie darf nicht ohne Erlaubnis von IMG Artists geändert werden.

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Reviews

"Dynamics, controlled impatience, intimate poetry: all there. Cheers and Jubilee for Welser-Möst. | Vienna State Opera 'Ring Cycle'"

Der Standard

"This was one of the most beautiful New Year's Concerts since Karajan and Kleiber. Franz Welser-Möst knows how the music of the Strauss-dynasty, the music of Lanner and Hellmesberger has to sound."

Österreich

"The Cleveland Orchestra’s triumphant performance of Richard Strauss’s Salome […] The great interlude… was stunning, not just for the virtuosity with which the orchestra dealt with its turbulent pile-up of leitmotifs, but also for the way that the eerily quiet passage for contrabassoon held the audience rapt. [Franz Welser-Möst] ensured that there was ample excitement to go around, while letting the music unfold with structural logic and maximizing opportunities for sumptuous playing."

Musical America

"What the [Vienna] Philharmonic Orchestra under the confident conductorship Franz Welser-Moests deliver is breathtaking.... it is especially exhilarating in its musical swing and the expressive directness."

Die Presse

"And in fact, [the Bolero] sounded fabulous—with those weapons that Welser-Möst handles so scrupulously: precision, rhythmic control, a certain highly effective minimalism. All that, plus the assurance of having an orchestra like the Cleveland at his command: compact, secure, even luminous. The artistic results are overwhelmingly effective. It is the art of perfection, pure and simple."

El Pais

"It was impressive to see how Welser-Möst, now in his tenth year as the boss of Cleveland, managed to organize a rich musical material and an abundant personnel and make room, in the midst of all the collaborative power, for soloistic moments."

Salzburger Nachrichten

"Yet for all technical craftsmanship, one can also bring out the eloquence of this music, if one lets true emotions resonate. Franz Welser-Möst has succeeded in doing just that, since he has the finest string playing to build upon and is thus able to turn a breathtakingly beautiful study in sound into a moving, expressive musical statement without forcing the interpretation in the least."

Die Presse

"Mr. Welser-Möst’s feel for Bruckner’s sound and idiom was evident in lucid balances, well-judged tempos and a keen sense of how to shape phrases naturally. The orchestral playing was transcendently beautiful, with warm, burnished strings and radiant, weighty brass chorales that were particularly breathtaking… a final demonstration on Bruckner’s part of effortful cohesion and unblinking devotion, given a spellbinding account that showed Mr. Welser-Möst and the orchestra in their finest light."

New York Times

"Almost everything is perfect. That starts with Conductor Franz Welser-Möst, who, on the stand of the philharmonic playing orchestra, makes Wagner sound accomplished. Superb, how the Viennese General Music Director and the marvellous musician sound out all the colours of the sound, how subtle and still highly dramatic Wagners universe arises. Even in the ring cycle it is very rare to hear the “Walkuere” so exemplarily."

Der Kurier

"...also under the conductors there is a quintet of large calibres. After Pierre Boulez, Christian Thielemann, Riccardo Muti and Mariss Jansons it was down to Franz Welser- Möst, to take the Vienna Philharmonic again to a collective flight, which was present the whole summer."

Salzburger Nachrichten

"Mr. Welser-Möst drew crisp, organic playing from the great Cleveland Orchestra. But by not driving the rhythm too hard, he allowed the long structural spans to emerge. The performance captured the ambiguity of this somber, restless music. This is an orchestral piece on high alert. Mr. Welser-Möst brought structural shape to the run-on scherzo, which is not easy. His account of the elusive, iconoclastic finale, which somehow merges complex fugues with a sprawling sonata form, was exhilarating. This was an inspired start to what should be a significant series."

The New York Times

"Much of the music, though, eloquently heralds a more mythic hero, facing and vanquishing mighty adversaries. The sweep of the music is grand, perfect material for the Cleveland Orchestra’s marvellous ensemble of players and its Austrian-born conductor. Their performance was carefully designed for ebb and flow, for dramatic builds and pensive musings, and to showcase the richness of Strauss’ orchestration."

The Herald Times

"Conductor Franz Welser-Möst… seems most at home in this repertoire, and he made this Heldenleben work by reveling in its extreme nature. This is music that is meant to stun, to overwhelm, and so here the development section was hugely loud and rumbled and roiled just shy of over the top, the slower passages were plushly melodic and nearly glacial, and the mocking woodwinds of the Adversaries section bit with the sharpest of contrasts. […] It was successful because Welser-Möst gave it shape and narrative. Most gratifying was the depth of excellence throughout the orchestra."

Miami Herald

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Discography

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    New Years Day Concert 2011 - with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra 2011

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder, Orchestral Music - with Masha Brueggergosman 2010

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Summer NIght's Concert 2010 - with the Vienna Philhamornic Orchestra 2010

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 (DVD) - with the Cleveland Orchestra 2009

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Eugen d' Albert: Tiefland - with Zurich Opera (DVD) 2009

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro - with Zurich Opera (DVD) 2009

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie / Bruckner: Te Deum - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 2008

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Bruckner: Symphony No.9 (DVD) - with the Cleveland Orchestra 2008

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 (DVD) - with the Cleveland Orchestra 2006

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Beethoven Symphony No. 9 - with the Cleveland Orchestra 2007

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Schubert: Fierrabras - with Zurich Opera (DVD) 2007

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Puccini: La Boheme - with Zurich Opera (DVD) 2007

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Verdi: Macbeth - with the Zurich Opera (DVD) 2005

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Mozart: Don Giovanni - with Zurich Opera (DVD) 2007

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito - with Zurich Opera (DVD) 2006

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Schmidt: Symphony No.4 / Variations on a Hussar's Song - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 2006

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - with Zurich Opera (DVD) 2005

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - with Zurich Opera (DVD) 2005

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Korngold: Symphony in F sharp/Einfache Lieder/ Mariettas Lied - with the Philadelphia Orchestra 2005

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Strauss: Alpine Symphony - with Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra 2005

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Wagner: Tannhauser - with Zurich Opera (DVD) 2004

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Schmidt: Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln - with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra 2004

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Mendelssohn: Symphonies Nos 3 & 4 - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 2003

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Bruckner: Symphony No.5 - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 2003

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Bruckner: Symphoni No 8 - with the Gustav Mahler Chamber Orchestra 2003

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Mozart: Requiem - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 2002

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Mozart: Requiem/ Mass in C Minor - with the London Philahrmonic Orchestra 2002

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Pärt: Symphony No.3, Fratres / Kancheli: Symphony No.3 - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 2001

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Strauss II: Simplicius - with the Opera Zurich 2000

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Operetta Arias - with Thomas Hampson 1999

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Mozart: Mass in C minor - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1999

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    HK Gruber: Frankenstein!! / Nebelsteinmusik / Drei Mob Stücke / Drei Songs aus "Gomorra" - with the London Mob Ensemble and the Camerata Academica Salzburg 1998

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Stravinsky: The Firebird; Symphonies of Wind Instruments / Bartok: Dance Suite - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1998

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Strauss II: Waltzes - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1997

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Dvorak: Violin Concerto / Glazunov: Viollin Concerto - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1996

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    A Night at the Opera 1996

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Korngold: Symphony in F sharp - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1996

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Bruckner: Messe No. 3; Te Deum - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1996

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Orff: Cantatas - with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra 1995

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1994

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Bartok: Miraculous Mandarin; Dance Suite / Kodaly: Peacock Variations - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1993

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Lehar: Die lustige Witwe - with the London Philhamornic Orchestra 1993

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1993

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 - with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1992

  • Franz Welser-Möst

    Orff: Carmina Burana 1990