Since his American debut with the St. Louis Symphony in 1989, the distinguished conductor FRANZ WELSER-MÖST has returned regularly to the United States, appearing as a guest with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, and the St. Louis Symphony.
Welser-Möst's rise to the international circuit began in 1986, when he made his debut with the London Philharmonic. His relationship with that orchestra resulted in his appointment as Music Director in 1990, a position he held for six years. As Music Director of the Zurich Opera from 1995 to 2002, Welser-Möst conducted 27 new productions and led numerous revivals, including operas from the French, German, Italian, and Slavic repertories. At the beginning of the 2002/03 season, Welser-Möst became Principal Conductor of the Zurich Opera and began his initial five-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra as their seventh Music Director. His recordings on the EMI label of symphonies, operas, and choral works have won numerous international awards.
Welser-Möst's accomplishments have received widespread recognition in the field of music and beyond. In 2002 he was named an honorary member of the Vienna Singverein and received the 2003 Conductor of the Year award from the Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts. In 2003 Welser-Möst received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Case Western Reserve University. In October 1995, the Western Law Center for Disability Rights in Los Angeles presented him with the Outstanding Achievement Award, recognizing his advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities and his support of the Hartheim Institute, a home for the disabled in Welser-Möst's birthplace of Linz, Austria.