Franz Welser-Möst, now Music Director of both the Cleveland Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera, was only 29 when he was tapped to be the Music Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Then he led the Zurich Opera for eight years conducting more than 50 premieres.
Speaking with “Mad About Music” host Gilbert Kaplan, Welser- Möst reveals:
- How he plans to restore a Mozart tradition at the Vienna Opera
- Why the Orchestra at the Vienna State Opera doesn’t need rehearsals
- How conductors’ egos can cause trouble with orchestras
- If he had to pick one piece that would best demonstrate his skill as a conductor it would be Schubert’s Ninth Symphony
- Works he has yet to conduct: Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Puccini’s Tosca and Verdi’s Otello.
- At his funeral he would want Simon Keenlyside to sing a few Schubert songs
- It was only after coming to America he made any Jewish friends – one of whom introduced him to Klezmer music (which he plays on the show)
- He accepts the critics will have their own view, but at times he has “felt hurt, emotionally, personally hurt, because they were vicious and personal”
- Asked what other role he would play in music in his fantasy, he would be a singer, but not a tenor (“That’s too crazy for me”). Favorite possible roles: Posa in Don Carlo, the Count in Marriage of Figaro and the lead role in Don Giovanni.
- His music selections include works by Wagner, Schubert, Verdi, Messiaen and Mozart.