Born in Linz, Franz Welser-Möst started out studying the violin, but later chose conducting. He served as music director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1990 to 1996, and was appointed music director of the Opernhaus Zurich, a post he held from 1995 to 2008. From 2010 to 2014, he served as Generalmusikdirektor of the Vienna State Opera, with which he put on among others, the acclaimed new production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Since 2002, Welser-Möst has served as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra. In 2014, his contract with that orchestra was extended until 2022, making him the longest serving conductor to hold the position in the orchestra’s history. The success of this partnership is attested by the many premieres and world premieres he has conducted and his return to opera, including productions of Mozart’s Da Ponte operas and semi-staged performances of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen with a computer-animated stage design.
Welser-Möst has made guest appearances conducting a number of leading orchestras. He has accompanied the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on many tours and led its New Year’s Day concert in 2011 and 2013.
Franz Welser-Möst has led many productions at the Salzburg Festival, for instance Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, for which he was awarded the ECHO Klassik award in 2015. and a widely acclaimed production of Die Liebe der Danae in 2016