Austrian, Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra, “Conductor of the Year 2003.”
Franz Welser-Möst was born in Linz in 1960. He attended the Linz Musikgymnasium (grammar school stressing musical education), where he played the violin and made his first attempts at conducting. He was able to win his first spurs as director of the Linz Jeunesse Orchestra. But he never received a conductor’s education in the classical sense. As he and his teacher did not work well together, he gave up his studies in Munich after a short time. His first appointment as principal conductor was with the Norrkoepping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden.
In 1990, he was appointed music director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and thus rose to the international top league already at the age of 30. In 1995, he assumed the position of music director at the Zurich Opera. In 2002 this was followed by his appointment as principal conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra, one of the best orchestras of the U.S. In May 2005 he was appointed general music director of the Zurich Opera, but will also retain his position with the Cleveland Orchestra until 2012. Starting in 2007, Welser-Möst will conduct the new production of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (Wagner’s Ring) at the Vienna State Opera. In 2003 the music magazine “Musical America” named him “Conductor of the Year.” Other awards include the Gramophone Award, the Japanese Record Academy Award, two Grammy nominations and the Mozart Award in 1999.