Franz Welser-Möst

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Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra (2008)

Franz Welser-Möst ( actually: Franz Leopold Maria Möst , born August 16, 1960 in Linz , Upper Austria ) is an Austrian conductor . He has been Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra since 2002 .

life and work

Welser-Möst was born as the fourth child of parents Marilies Möst (politician) and Franz Möst (doctor). The family was very musical. He attended the Linz Music High School . It was there that Baldwin Sulzer became aware of his talent and became his most important teacher and supporter. Möst studied composition and violin . However, injuries from a serious car accident in 1978 ended his plans to pursue a career as a violinist. From then on he devoted himself entirely to conducting and studied in Munich from 1980 to 1984 . From 1982 to 1985 he was also director of the Austrian Youth Orchestra. At the suggestion of his mentor Andreas von Bennigsen (1941–2000) Möst adopted the stage name Welser-Möst in 1984 or 1985 as a tribute to the city of Wels , where he grew up. In 1986 he was adopted by Bennigsen; In 1992 he separated from Bennigsen and married his former wife Angelika.

His first engagements as conductor of a professional orchestra led him to the Winterthur City Orchestra and to Lausanne in Switzerland and to Norrköping in Sweden. In 1986 he caused an international sensation at a concert with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and then directed this orchestra from 1990 to 1996, albeit under determined opposition from the local press and with an unpleasant end. In England he was also nicknamed "Frankly Worse than Most". From 1995 to 2002 he was music director of the Zurich Opera House , where he was also appointed general music director from September 2005 to summer 2008 . Since 2002 he has been chief conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra . His contract there runs until 2027.

In addition, Welser-Möst made guest appearances at the Vienna State Opera , the Deutsche Oper Berlin (where their director Götz Friedrich wanted to engage him as GMD), at the Glyndebourne Festival and in 2004 for the first time at the Salzburg Festival , where he conducted the Cleveland Orchestra with Antonín Dvořáks in 2008 Rusalka celebrated a resounding success. The Vienna Philharmonic had previously protested against the invitation of an American orchestra to perform an opera from the old Austrian region.

On June 6, 2007 he was appointed General Music Director of the Vienna State Opera from 2010 by the Austrian Minister of Culture Claudia Schmied . He was to run the house together with the French Dominique Meyer as director. Welser-Möst conducted the first premiere of the new era in autumn 2010, it was given to Paul Hindemith's opera Cardillac . He also took on three other premieres this season: Figaro and Don Giovanni by Mozart and Káťa Kabanová as the beginning of a Janáček cycle that will last several years . In March 2010, Welser-Möst played a key role in the conclusion of the orchestra collective agreement of the Vienna State Opera: On the night before the program press conference, he threatened the republic with the increase in orchestral payments that had been promised for years.

At New Year 2011, Welser-Möst conducted the New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic for the first time . The Vienna Philharmonic also entrusted him with the direction of the 2013 New Year's Concert.

In January 2012, Minister Claudia Schmied announced that both the Welser-Möst contract (until 2018) and that of Meyer (until 2020) had been extended. On September 5, 2014, Welser-Möst announced his immediate resignation as GMD of the Vienna State Opera: "The longstanding differences of opinion in artistic matters could not be resolved even in several conversations". What was meant was the cooperation with the director of the house, Meyer.

At the Salzburg Festival in 2015 he directed Fidelio and the Rosenkavalier , 2016 Die Liebe der Danae and 2017 Aribert Reimanns Lear . In 2016 Franz Welser-Möst took over the direction of Le nozze di Figaro at the Teatro alla Scala .

In the 2017/18 season he conducted a. a. the Staatskapelle Dresden , the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra . At the Salzburg Festival in 2018, he became musical director in the musical drama Salome by Richard Strauss from the year 1905th


The old Casino Dommayer - today the Parkhotel Schönbrunn stands here
  • Welser-Möst's great-grandmother Aloisia Wild was a born Dommayer from the family who ran Casino Dommayer on Hietzinger Hauptstrasse in Vienna , the predecessor of today's Café Dommayer . In Dommayer many premieres took the works of the composer Johann Strauss father , Joseph Lanner and Johann Strauss Jr. instead.
  • Aloisia Dommayer's mother (Welser-Möst's great-great-grandmother) was Katharina Scherzer, the daughter of the landlord and operator of the then very well-known dance hall Zum Sperl in Vienna's Leopoldstadt . (Johann Strauss father dedicated the Sperls Festwalzer, the Sperl-Polka and the Sperl-Gallop to the restaurant . Joseph Lanner wrote the " Landler " Willkommen zum Sperl. )
  • Welser-Möst's paternal grandmother was from the family game that at Neuer Markt in Vienna's inner city the now famous delicacy nhandel Brothers Wild operational.
  • The car accident that forced Welser-Möst to forego a career as a violinist occurred on November 19, 1978 at around 3 p.m., exactly 150 years after the death of Franz Schubert . With this fact Welser-Möst explains his preference for Schubert.




Web links

Commons : Franz Welser-Möst  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Erik Famler: The street is to be named after the first parliamentarian. In: Upper Austrian news . December 23, 2015, accessed August 10, 2020 .
  2. “What do you think?” - The conductor Franz Welser-Möst. ORF Religion, February 25, 2006, accessed on July 27, 2012 .
  3. ^ The Austrian Abroad of 2001 - Franz Welser-Möst. (PDF; 315 kB) In: ROTWEISSROT. World Federation of Austrians Abroad, January 2003, p. 23 , archived from the original on November 10, 2005 ; accessed on December 16, 2019 .
  4. Norman Lebrecht : He might be smiling now ... - Franz Welser-Möst Returns to Conduct the Proms. In: La Scena Musicale. August 16, 2000, accessed July 27, 2012 .
  5. ^ The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst extend acclaimed partnership to 2027. Press release of the Cleveland Orchestra, accessed October 11, 2019.
  6. Michael Wruss: Kulturszene: "We breathe the same air and speak the same language". In: Upper Austrian news . December 31, 2010. Accessed January 2, 2011.
  7. New Year's Concert with a standing ovation. ( Memento from July 22, 2012 in the web archive ), January 1, 2011. Accessed on December 16, 2019.
  8. Matters of the heart. In: FAZ . January 25, 2012, p. 32
  9. Welser-Möst leaves the State Opera. ORF, September 5, 2014
  10. ^ Franz Welser-Möst artist biography on, accessed on July 15, 2018
  11. a b c Ludwig Heinrich: The Waltz King and the Great-Grandma: Welser-Möst in an OÖN interview. In: Upper Austrian news. December 28, 2010. Accessed January 1, 2011.
  12. See Zum Sperl, section “Miscellaneous” .
  13. Josef Lanner: "Welcome to Sperl". . Entry on Klassika. The German-language classic pages. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
  14. ^ Ö1 classic meeting point on June 27, 2015, at approx. Minute 77
  15. Grammy nominations
  16. Portrait in ( memento from September 26, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  17. Broadcast from ORF accessed on September 5, 2014
  18. Pro-Arte European Prize to Franz Welser-Möst. In: . July 12, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  19. ^ US cultural medal for Waltz, Eröd, Welser-Möst and Rabl-Stadler. Retrieved June 20, 2019 .
  20. The Mostdipf Prize Winners 2020. In: Oberösterreichische Nachrichten . June 20, 2020, accessed June 20, 2020 .
  21. Peter Grubmüller: Franz Welser-Möst: "I am a golden craftsman". In: Upper Austrian news . June 20, 2020, accessed June 20, 2020 .
  22. Welser-Möst honored with festival pin, August 17, 2020, accessed August 17, 2020.