Franz Welser-Möst is among today’s most distinguished conductors. The 2016-17 season marks his fifteenth year as music director of The Cleveland Orchestra, with the future of this acclaimed partnership now extending into the next decade. Under his direction, The Cleveland Orchestra has been repeatedly praised for its innovative programming, support for new musical works, and for its recent achievements in semi-staged and staged opera productions. The Orchestra has been hugely successful in building up a new and, notably, a young audience through its groundbreaking programs involving students and families.
As a guest conductor, Mr. Welser-Möst enjoys a close and productive relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic. His recent performances with the Philharmonic have included critically-acclaimed opera productions at the Salzburg Festival. For the 2016-17 season, he leads the Vienna Philharmonic in performances in Vienna and on tour in the United States, including three concerts at Carnegie Hall in February 2017.
Mr. Welser-Möst also maintains relationships with a number of other European orchestras and opera companies. His 2016-17 schedule includes Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with La Scala Milan. He also leads Mahler’s Ninth Symphony with the Dresden Staatskapelle, including a performance at the Salzburg Easter Festival. In December 2015, he led the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic in the Nobel Prize concert in Stockholm.
From 2010 to 2014, Franz Welser-Möst served as general music director of the Vienna State Opera. His partnership with the company included an acclaimed new production of Wagner’s Ring cycle and a series of critically-praised new productions, as well as performances of a wide range of other operas, particularly works by Wagner and Richard Strauss. Prior to his years with the Vienna State Opera, Mr. Welser-Möst led the Zurich Opera across a decade-long tenure, conducting more than forty new productions and culminating in three seasons as general music director (2005-08).
Franz Welser-Möst’s recordings and videos have won major awards, including a Gramophone Award, Diapason d’Or, Japanese Record Academy Award, and two Grammy nominations. With The Cleveland Orchestra, his recordings include DVD recordings of live performances of five of Bruckner’s symphonies and a multi-DVD set of major works by Brahms, featuring Yefim Bronfman and Julia Fischer as soloists. A new DVD of Brahms’s German Requiem is being released this season.
For his talents and dedication, Mr. Welser-Möst has received honors that include the Vienna Philharmonic’s “Ring of Honor” for his longstanding personal and artistic relationship with the ensemble, as well as recognition from the Western Law Center for Disability Rights, honorary membership in the Vienna Singverein, appointment as an Academician of the European Academy of Yuste, a Decoration of Honor from the Republic of Austria for his artistic achievements, and the Kilenyi Medal from the Bruckner Society of America