Music Director of the Houston Symphony from 2001 to 2013, Hans Graf is the longest serving Music Director in the orchestra’s history. Prior to his appointment in Houston, he was the Music Director of the Calgary Philharmonic for eight seasons and held the same post with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine for six years. An experienced opera conductor, recent opera engagements have included Parsifal at the Zurich Opera, Boris Godunov at the Opera National du Rhin in Strasbourg, and Strauss’s Die Feuersnot at the Volksoper Vienna, for which he received the 2014 Austrian Music Theatre Prize.
Recent recordings include Hindemith’s complete works for viola and orchestra, and live recordings of Carmina Burana with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Wozzeck with the Houston Symphony released by Naxos in 2017, which won the 2017 Grammy for Best Opera Recording as well as the 2017 ECHO Klassik prize for best opera recording in the category of 20th and 21st century opera.
Born near Linz, Hans Graf first studied violin and piano. After receiving diplomas in piano and conducting from the Musik Hochschule in Graz, he continued his studies in Italy with Franco Ferrara and Sergui Celibadache and in Russia with Arvid Jansons. He has been awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Legion d'Honneur by the French government for championing French music around the world. He is Professor Emeritus for Orchestral Conducting at the Universitat Mozarteum in Salzburg.