Former Musical Director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra
Known for his intensely musical interpretations of a wide range of repertoire and creative programming, Hans Graf – the Houston Symphony’s 15th music director – is one of today’s most highly respected musicians. He began his tenure in Houston on Opening Night of the 2001-2002 season.
Maestro Graf, a much sought after guest conductor, has led the leading orchestras in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia, and participated in the most prestigious music festivals in the U.S. and
Europe. He has developed a close relationship with the Boston Symphony and appears regularly with that orchestra both during the subscription season and at the Tanglewood Music Festival. He made his
Carnegie Hall debut with the Houston Symphony in January 2006 and returned in March 2007 conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
Highlights of Graf’s 2007-2008 season include appearances with The Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, as
well as a return to the Calgary Philharmonic. He has also conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic and the Philadelphia, San Francisco, Baltimore, Dallas, Cincinnati, Atlanta and
Los Angeles orchestras.
A great proponent of opera, Graf first conducted the Vienna State Opera in 1981. He has since led
productions in the opera houses of Berlin, Munich, Paris and Rome, including several world premieres.
Maestro Graf and the Houston Symphony have recorded a disc of works by Bartók and Stravinsky,
available on the Koch International Classics label. Graf’s discography includes the complete works of
Dutilleux and the premiere recording of Zemlinsky’s opera Es war einmal. He has recorded for the EMI,
Orfeo, Erato, Capriccio, JVC and BMG Arte Nova labels.
Hans Graf was born in 1949 near Linz. He received diplomas in piano and conducting from the
Musikhochschule in Graz, later continuing his conducting studies with Franco Ferrara, Sergiu Celibidache
and Arvid Jansons. His international career was launched in 1979 when he was awarded first prize at the
Karl Böhm Competition. He was music director of the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra for 10 years, and
has also served as music director of the Calgary Philharmonic and the Orchestre National Bordeaux
Aquitaine. In 2002 he was awarded the Chevalier de l’ordre de la Legion d’Honneur by the French
government for championing French music around the world. In 2007, Graf received the Grand
Decoration of Honour in Gold for Service to the Republic of Austria for his contributions as an interpreter
of music, educator and cultural ambassador for Austria.
Maestro Graf and his wife, Margarita, have homes in Salzburg and Houston. They have one daughter,
Anna, who lives in Vienna.