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Known for his intensely musical interpretations of a wide range of repertoire and creative programming, the distinguished Austrian conductor HANS GRAF is one of today's most highly respected musicians.
Currently the Music Director of the Houston Symphony, a post for which he was unanimously chosen in September 2000, Graf completed his eighth and final season as Music Director of the Calgary Philharmonic in May 2003 and concluded a six-year tenure as Music Director of the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine in June 2004.
Hans Graf has led the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Toronto, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Montreal, among many others, and participated in festivals including Blossom, Wolftrap, and the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. Over the past decade he has developed a close relationship with the Boston Symphony and appears regularly with the orchestra both during the subscription season and at the Tanglewood Music Festival. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Houston Symphony in January 2006; during the 2006/07 season he returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Detroit, St. Louis, and Indianapolis symphonies and makes his first appearances with the San Francisco Symphony, at the Aspen Music Festival, and with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall.
He conducts in the major concert halls of Europe, Japan, and Australia. He has appeared with the Vienna Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra as well as with the St. Petersburg, Czech, and Israel Philharmonics. He has participated in such prestigious European festivals as the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Bregenz, Aix en Provence, Orange, and Savonlinna in Finland, and he appeared at the Salzburg Festival for twelve consecutive seasons. During the 2006/07 season, Graf leads the Pittsburgh Symphony on a tour in Germany and conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.
Born in 1949 near Linz, Hans Graf studied violin and piano as a child. He entered the Musikhochschule in Graz in 1967 and continued his conducting studies with Franco Ferrara in Siena, Sergiu Celibidache in Bologna, and Arvid Jansons in Weimar and Leningrad. His international career was launched in 1979 when he was awarded first prize at the Karl Böhm Competition. Graf was appointed Music Director of the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra in 1984, a post he held for ten years.
His discography includes the complete symphonies of Mozart and Schubert and the premiere recording of Zemlinsky's opera Es war einmal. He has recorded for the EMI, Orfeo, Erato, Capriccio, and JVC labels, as well as the complete works of Dutilleux for BMG Arte Nova. A disc of works by Bartók and Stravinsky with the Houston Symphony was released by Koch International in November 2005.
In June 2002, Hans Graf was awarded the Chevalier de l'ordre de la Légion d'Honneur by the French government for championing French music around the world.