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American born and trained, conductor Franz Anton Krager has been making his artistic presence felt both at home and abroad. Performance engagements in some of the world’s most celebrated concert halls and musical centers are testimony to his emergence as a conductor on the international music scene.
Since making his prize winning European conducting debut in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Koncertsalen in 1978, Krager has led orchestras in the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace, England’s Bridgewater Hall in Manchester & Adrian Boult Hall in Birmingham, Sydney Opera House, Amsterdam Congresgebouw, Kazan’s State Philharmonic Hall in Russia, Guadalajara’s Degollado Theater, and Sarasota’s Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
His affiliations with leading music festivals include the Lichfield & Aberystwyth International Arts Festivals and Lancaster International Concert Series in the U.K., the “Lago di Como,” “Lunatica,” “Pianomaster,” “Sinfonico,” “Giovedì a Teatro,” “Scarlino Castello,” and “All Around Jazz” Festivals in Italy, and the Texas Music Festival and Interlochen National Music Camp in the U.S. Krager’s musical training included the study of percussion, piano, theory, composition, and conducting with Elizabeth A. H. Green at the University of Michigan. He served as General & Artistic Director for “Shostakovich 2000,” a five-day international music festival marking the 25 th anniversary of Shostakovich’s death. The festival was recognized by the DSCH Journal as a major world event for Shostakovich’s ballets, operas, chamber, and orchestral music.
In 2003, Maestro Krager conducted Shostakovich with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra & Symphonic Cappella, and Alexander Kisselev of the Bolshoi Theatre, inside the State Kremlin Palace. A command performance, initiated by Kremlin authorities, was given in honor of Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s 70th birthday to an audience of 6500. Krager made his European opera conducting debut in 2004 in the production of Puccini’s “Tosca” with Italy’s Stagione Lirica.
Krager was appointed, in 2006, as Artistic Consultant for the World Holocaust Forum Foundation’s “Let My People Live,” in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the tragedy in Babi Yar, Kiev, Ukraine. This event garnered global media attention, and included state delegations from several countries including the Presidents of Israel and Ukraine. Krager also directed the “Jean Sibelius Festival 2006,” a three-day music festival celebrating the works of Finnish composer Sibelius. Krager’s conducting engagements include the Houston Symphony Orchestra; Russian State Symphony; Romanian and Kazan State Philharmonics; Symphony Orchestra of Berlin; Akademisches Orchester Leipzig; Koriyama Symphony Orchestra (Japan); Texas and Oakland (CA) Ballet Companies and Houston Ballet Academy; the chamber orchestras of Stratford (“Orchestra of the Swan,” where he was Principal Guest Conductor from 2000-2004), Orchestra Sinfonica Citta’ di Grosseto, Guido d’Arezzo, and Orchestra Sinfonica del Conservatorio Jacopo Tomadini (Italy). Choral engagements include the Houston Symphony Chorus; the Chorus of the Gruppo Polifonico “Francesco Coradini,” Corale Giacomo Puccini di Grosseto (Italy); and the Asaka Women’s Chorus (Japan). Krager has worked with some of the pre-eminent artists of our time.
In conjunction with the Moores School of Music, he has collaborated with Robert Shaw, William Warfield, Maxim Shostakovich, Marilyn Horne, John Corigliano, Horacio Gutiérrez, and Sergei Leiferkus. Krager is Professor of Conducting, Director of Orchestras, and Chair of the Conducting Department at the University of Houston Moores School of Music, where he has brought the orchestra and orchestral conducting program into the realm of national prominence. The Moores School Orchestra has commercially recorded the music of Michael Horvit, Peter Lieuwen, Robert Nelson, and Stephen Shewan for Albany Records. In conjunction with the Moores School, Krager has collaborated with Robert Shaw, William Warfield, Maxim Shostakovich, Marilyn Horne, John Corigliano, Horacio Gutiérrez, and Sergei Leiferkus. Music press that has hailed the Maestro includes the Liverpool Daily Post: “American conductor Franz Anton Krager produced a performance full of life, vivacity and enthusiasm.” The Leipziger Volkszeitung in Germany: “Krager’s unusual Schwung and Esprit brought to the Gewandhaus.”; the Houston Chronicle: “well-prepared earnestness; assured, committed performances; effectiveness; and heartfelt sincerity.” The Tampa Tribune: the Florida West Coast Symphony organization “would be smart to grab Franz Anton Krager, who won over the sellout crowd...”
In 1984, after a six year Assistant Professorship at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Krager relocated to Texas as Music Director of the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra and Brazos Sinfonietta.
Opening Night Concert
Saturday, December 7, 2013, 7:00pm
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Zilkha Hall
"With many of your students headed to the best music schools and conservatories around the country, you are providing them with tools that will last their entire careers. Best wishes for your continued success. The Houston Symphony looks forward to its next opportunity to work with your students."
Roger Daily, Director of Education and Outreach, Houston Symphony