Leopold Hager, who celebrated his 85th birthday in October 2020, 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. He has maintained a close connection to this orchestra, meanwhile renamed Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and, in January 2021, has been distinguished with the title of Honorary Conductor. From 2015 to 2017, Leopold Hager was Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música. 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 as well as the Opéra Lyon, National Theatre Prague and the Edinburgh Festival.

Major operatic guest engagements also 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 then gave his debut as a stage director) for Massenets Werther. He also 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, Swedish Radio Symphony, Göteborgs Symfoniker, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, 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. He has repeatedly conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, not only in Vienna, but also in Prague and Rome.

Leopold Hager has 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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