Leopold Hager

Conductor

Leopold Hager, who celebrated his 80th birthday in 2015, hails from Salzburg, Austria, and studied conducting, organ, piano, harpsichord and composition at the famous Mozarteum in his hometown.

After holding several posts in Mainz, Linz and Cologne, he became General Music Director in Freiburg/Breisgau, then Principal Conductor of the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg and, until 1996, Music Director of the RTL Symphony Orchestra Luxembourg. Besides his extensive work as a conductor, Leopold Hager was Professor for Orchestra Conducting at the University of Music in Vienna from 1992 to 2004.

From 2005 to 2008, Leopold Hager served as Chief Conductor at the Volksoper in Vienna where he conducted new stagings of Sophie's Choice, The Magic Flute, Turandot, Der Freischütz, La Traviata, Hoffmanns Erzählungen, Hochzeit des Figaro and Meistersinger. Much acclaimed performances abroad took place in Japan and Spain.

As a guest, he has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Vienna State Opera and appeared frequently at many of the world's leading opera houses, amongst them the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Semperoper Dresden, Metropolitan Opera New York, Chicago Lyric Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden London, Teatro Colon Buenos Aires and Opera Bastille Paris. Moreover, he performed at the Opéra Lyon, National Theatre Prague and the Edinburgh Festival.

Major operatic guest engagements of the more recent past include Deutsche Oper Berlin (Rosenkavalier and a double production of Elektra by Richard Strauss, combined with the very seldom performed opera Cassandra by Vittorio Gnecchi), new stagings of Wagner's Flying Dutchman at the Leipzig Opera and Tristan and Isolde at the Staatsoper Stuttgart. At the Opéra Lyon he teamed up with Rolando Villazon (who gave his debut as a stage director) for Massenets Werther. Moreover he conducted two new Mozart stagings at Opéra de Nice.

A much sought-after conductor with great experience, Leopold Hager conducted leading orchestras in Europe and the USA, including Staatskapelle Dresden, Bamberger Symphoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Munich Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Staatskapelle Weimar, Orchestre National de Lille, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome and National Symphony Orchestra Washington. His close musical relationship with the English Chamber Orchestra is well documented by several recordings. In 2015, Leopold Hager assumed the post of Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música. He has repeatedly conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, not only in Vienna, but also in Prague and Rome.

Leopold Hager acquired renown as a pioneering advocate of Mozart interpretation, in particular for his Salzburg concert performances of the hitherto virtually unperceived early stage works, amongst them Lucio Silla, Apollo et Hyacinthus, Ascanio in Alba or La Betulia liberata. In the course of the Salzburg Mozart Week in 1979, he conducted the first complete performance ever of Il sogno di Scipione. His recordings of these works with the leading singers of the time still enjoy reference standard. Moreover, his extensive discography includes all of Mozart’s piano concerts and concert arias.

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