Franz Welser-Möst, the world star up close

The New York Times praises Franz Welser-Möst’s Cleveland Orchestra as the best orchestra in the world. The 63-year-old was general music director of the State Opera, he brought triumphs to the Salzburg Festival summer after summer, and he has conducted the Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert three times so far: At the campus talk of the Gmundner Kreuz Sisters school association on Tuesday, the world star Welser-Möst chatted to children, Parents and teachers are impressively open and humorous about growing up as a dreamy child with four siblings. He was once reprimanded with a ruler by his religious violin teacher. He even vomited into the violin because he was afraid of this woman.

In a conversation with Salzkammergut Festival Week managing director Johanna Mitterbauer, he described his time at the Stifter-Gymnasium in Linz and his car accident in 1978, which caused him to lose his violin career due to multiple injuries, but opened up the world of conducting. In an orchestra with 100 musicians, there were 150 musical opinions – Welser-Möst agrees with Herbert von Karajan, who allowed everyone so much freedom “so that they can do what I want.” The success of a conductor is based on the balance of sensitivity and assertiveness. At the end, the first communion children were allowed to ask questions. Among other things: “What is your favorite food?” – “Apricot dumplings!”

After surviving two cancer surgeries in the back area in November, Welser-Möst has to undergo another operation in June. “The doctors want to be on the safe side,” says Welser-Möst, without losing his cheerful lightness. The concert for Anton Bruckner’s 200th birthday on September 4th in Ansfelden is safe.


Peter Grubmüller

Head of Culture Department

Peter Grubmüller

Peter Grubmüller


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