2015 Conductors

Josep Caballé-Domenech

Josep Caballe-Domenech

Since the start of the season 2013/14 General Music Director of the Opera and Staatskapelle Halle-Saale (Germany), and now in his fourth Season as Music Director of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic (USA), Josep Caballé Domenech enjoys combining his conducting career with a great symphonic and operatic repertoire.

Josep Caballé Domenech has worked with an impressive list of orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic London with whom he recorded Respighi’s Roman Trilogy for Onyx Classics, Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, WDR Cologne, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Munich Radio Orchestra, RSO Wien, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfónica Milano Giuseppe Verdi, the New Japan Philharmonic, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Galicia Symphony Orchestra, Euskadi Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of RTVE Madrid, Houston Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and OFUNAM México, among others. His most recent debuts were with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Orchestre National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon, the Chile Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Also, he usually conducts summer festivals in the USA, including lAspen Music Festival, Texas Music Festival, and Wintergreen Festival.

Recognized also for his work with operatic repertoire, Maestro Caballé Domenech made his debut with Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte at the Gran Teatre del Liceu at Barcelona. He lead the company also in guest productions at the Savonlinna Festival and at La Fenice Venice. Subsequently, Josep Caballé Domenech was invited by further European opera companies, including State Opera Stuttgart, Vienna’s Volksoper (new production of Tosca, among others) and Theater an der Wien, Teatro San Carlo Lisbon, Bilbao Opera House and Komische Oper Berlin. Recent highlights includes the premiere of E. Palomar ballet Negro Goya at the 60th International Granada Festival, Teatre Royal du Versailles/Paris, his debut at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, a new production of Bizet’s Carmen at the Semperoper Dresden and a new production of La straniera at Essen’s Aalto-Theater.

During the 2014/15 season, Mr. Caballé Domenech´s guest conducting appearances includes the Royal Philharmonic London, the Euskadi Symphony Orchestra, the Extremadura Orchestra, debuts with the Bilken Philharmonic Orchestra in Ankara and Orchestre national du Capitole du Toulouse, performances of Bitzet´s Carmen and Rossini´s Barbiere di Seviglia at the Dresden’s Semperoper and a South America Tour with the Staatskapelle Halle.

Born in Barcelona into a family of musicians, Josep Caballé-Domenech studied piano, percussion, singing and violin. He took conducting lessons with David Zinman and Jorma Panula at the Aspen Music Festival, Sergiu Comissiona, and at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. He was awarded the Aspen Prize from the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and selected as “Protégé” in the inaugural cycle of the Sir Colin Davis Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative 2002-03.


Franz Anton Krager*

Photo of Franz Anton Krager

American born and trained conductor, Franz Anton Krager, has made his artistic presence felt both at home and abroad with performance engagements in some of the world's most celebrated concert halls and musical centers. 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, Manchester England's Bridgewater Hall, Birmingham England's Adrian Boult Hall, Guangzhou China's Xinghai Music Center, the 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 Lancaster International Concert Series and the Lichfield and Aberystwyth International Arts Festivals in the U.K., the "Puccini e la sua Lucca," "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.

Maestro Krager's roster of conducting engagements is a full collection of international and domestic appearances in both the professional and academic arenas. He has led the Houston Symphony; Russian State Symphony; Romanian and Kazan State Philharmonics; Honolulu and Florida West Coast Symphonies; Chetham's Symphony Orchestra and Musicfest International Orchestra (U.K.); Symphony Orchestra of Berlin; Akademisches Orchester Leipzig; Koriyama Symphony Orchestra (Japan); Riverside Philharmonic (CA); Traverse Symphony Orchestra (MI); East and Mid-Texas Symphony Orchestras; Texas and Oakland (CA) Ballet Companies, Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy, Sandra Organ Dance Company (TX); the chamber orchestras of Stratford ("Orchestra of the Swan," where he was principal guest conductor from 2000-2004), Birmingham and Leamington (U.K.); Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss am Rhein (Germany); Orchestra Sinfonica Citta' di Grosseto, Guido d'Arezzo, and Orchestra Sinfonica del Conservatorio Jacopo Tomadini (Italy); the Missouri Chamber Orchestra; and the Round Top Festival-Institute.

In 2000, Krager served as General & Artistic Director for "Shostakovich 2000," a five-day international music festival marking the 25th anniversary of Shostakovich's death. "Shostakovich 2000" drew people to Houston from across the U.S., Europe, and Russia, and was recognized by the DSCH Journal as a major world event for ballet, opera, chamber, and orchestral music by Shostakovich. Krager again conducted Shostakovich, in 2003, with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra & Symphonic Cappella and Alexander Kisselev of the Bolshoi Theatre, inside the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow. This command performance, initiated by the Kremlin authorities, was given in honor of the great Russian poet, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Krager conducted to a packed house of 6500 people. Maestro Krager made his European opera-conducting debut, in 2004, with the Stagione Lirica in the Tuscany region of Italy. This production of Puccini's "Tosca" was met with great enthusiasm by the Italian public and received rave reviews from the Italian press. In 2005 and again in 2008, Krager was invited to be a jury member for the prestigious Concurso Internacional de Piano Compositores de Espana in Madrid. In 2006, he was appointed as Artistic Consultant for the World Holocaust Forum Foundation's "Let My People Live," the International Forum 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 a three-day international music festival in Houston celebrating the great Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. The "Jean Sibelius Festival 2006," like "Shostakovich 2000," drew people to Houston from across the U.S. and abroad.

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, Joan Tower, 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 is heard frequently on National Public Radio and has commercially recorded the music of Michael Horvit, Peter Lieuwen, Robert Nelson, and Stephen Shewan on compact disc for Albany Records.

Maestro Krager is also Music Director & Chief Conductor of the Texas Music Festival, Founding Artistic Director of the Virtuosi of Houston, Artist-in-Residence at The Kinkaid School, Evaluator/Clinician for the Orchestra America National Festival, and has been a summer lecturer-in-residence at the Italart Santa Chiara Study Center, near Florence, Italy, since 1987.

Originally from Detroit, Krager's musical training included the study of percussion, piano, theory, composition, and conducting with Elizabeth A. H. Green at the University of Michigan. As a young conductor, Krager was one of a select group invited to participate in the famed Herbert von Karajan International Conducting Competition, winning acclaim in the Berlin press. "His appearance, his poise clearly reveal his experience," proclaimed the Berliner Morgenpost. In Amsterdam, the Haagsche Courant hailed him as a "great musical talent." England's Liverpool Daily Post stated that "American conductor Franz Anton Krager produced a performance full of life, vivacity and enthusiasm." The Leipziger Volkszeitung in Germany praised "Krager's unusual Schwung and Esprit brought to the Gewandhaus." In the American press, the Houston Chronicle has cited his "well-prepared earnestness; assured, committed performances; effectiveness; and heartfelt sincerity." The Tampa Tribune declared that the Florida West Coast Symphony organization "would be smart to grab Franz Anton Krager, who won over the sellout crowd..."

Maestro Krager has been active for over 25 years as a champion of new music, conducting and recording many premieres of works commissioned and/or produced from the Moores School of Music and Brazos Valley Symphony resident composer programs.

In 1984, after a six-year Assistant Professorship at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Krager relocated to Texas with appointments to the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra and Texas A&M University. His ensuing twelve-year tenure as Music Director of the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra and Brazos Sinfonietta was lauded by visiting artists of international stature as a model for regional orchestras in the United States.

Rossen Milanov

Rossen Milanov

Respected and admired by audiences and musicians alike, Rossen Milanov is the Music Director Designate of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. He is also the Music Director of the Princeton Symphony and Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias (OSPA) in Spain as well as the Music Director of the nationally recognized training orchestra Symphony in C in New Jersey.

Mr. Milanov has established himself as a conductor with a considerable national and international presence. His recent conducting highlights include debuts at the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Sapporo Symphony and Tokyo City Philharmonic and returns to the Milwaukee ,Vancouver, Fort Worth, Aalborg and Latvian National Symphony Orchestras; National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Zurich Opera, Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra and his Link Up education projects with Carnegie Hall and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. This season, Mr. Milanov debuts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Opera Oviedo in Spain, Hungarian National Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, New York City Ballet, Pacific Symphony and returns to the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic in South Africa, Aalborg Symphony and conducts the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in Verizon Hall in Philadelphia.

Mr. Milanov has collaborated with some of the world’s preeminent artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Midori, Christian Tetzlaff, and André Watts, as well as with such internationally esteemed vocalists as Nicolai Ghiaurov, Vesselina Kasarova, Angela Meade, Measha Brueggergosman, Anne Schwanewilms and Krassimira Stoyanova. During his eleven-year tenure with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Milanov conducted more than 200 performances, as Associate Conductor and as Artistic Director of the Orchestra’s summer home at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts. His passion for new music has resulted in numerous world premieres of works by composers such as Richard Danielpour, Nicolas Maw, and Gabriel Prokofiev; he also works with emerging composers through Symphony in C’s annual Young Composers’ Competition.

A well-known figure in North America, Rossen Milanov has appeared with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Indianapolis, Calgary, Alabama, Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, Seattle, and Oregon, among others. His festival appearances include Aspen, Grant Park Music Festival, Chautauqua, the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival, Grand Teton, and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Internationally, he has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Komische Oper Berlin, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic in South Africa and the symphony orchestras of Lucerne, Mexico, Colombia, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Auckland and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. On his regular tours to the Far East, he has appeared with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, China Philharmonic, and Singapore Symphony.

Noted for his versatility, Milanov is also a welcome presence in the worlds of opera and ballet. He has worked with opera companies including the Komische Oper Berlin (Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk), the Philadelphia Orchestra (Puccini’s La bohème), and Curtis Opera Theatre (Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco). In ballet, he has collaborated with leading choreographers Mats Ek (Zurich Opera), Sabrina Matthews and Nils Christe (Stockholm’s Royal Ballet), Benjamin Millepied and Andonis Foniadakis (Geneva Opera), and Jorma Elo (Pennsylvania Ballet).

Milanov’s first recording with OSPA featuring music of Stravinsky and Falla was recently released by Classic Concert Records. His first commercial recording with the Philadelphia Orchestra, A Grand Celebration, was released in 2010 and his live recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15 and Brahms’s Symphony No. 1, also with the Philadelphia Orchestra, is available through the orchestra’s web site. His other recordings include works by Russian composer Alla Pavlova, with the Moscow Philharmonic on the Naxos label, and Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, with the Curtis Opera Theatre for Albany Records. Many of Milanov’s recordings with the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra are available on iTunes.

Rossen Milanov studied conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, where he received the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship. He studied oboe and orchestral conducting at the Bulgarian National Academy of Music, and holds a Masters degree in oboe performance from Duquesne University. As the former Chief Conductor of the Bulgarian National Radio Orchestra (2003-08) and Music Director of the New Symphony Orchestra, Sofia (1997-2013), he received the Bulgarian Ministry’s Award for Extraordinary Contribution to Bulgarian Culture. He was named Bulgaria’s Musician of the Year in 2005, he was among the top 100 most influential people in New Jersey in 2014 and won an ASCAP award in 2011 for his programming with Princeton Symphony Orchestra.

A passionate chef, he often dedicates his culinary talents to various charities.


Lavard Skou Larsen

Lavard Skou Larsen

Conductor Lavard Skou Larsen’s passionate music-making inspires audiences of all ages. Currently serving as Music Director of both the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss by Duesseldorf and the Georgische Kammerorchester in Ingoldstadt, Germany, the impact of his musical leadership was felt after the first concerts and continues with his imaginative programs and record audience attendance in the history of these orchestras. His commitment to these posts accounts for a major portion of his schedule, while he is also increasingly in demand as a guest conductor in Brazil, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, France, and the U.S. He has conducted symphony and chamber orchestras with equal success, such as the Mozarteum Salzburg, the Dresden Philharmonie, Dusseldorf Symphony, Rheinische Philharmonie, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Orchestre des Pays de Savoie, Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Berne Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira de Rio de Janeiro, Orquestra Sinfonica de Porte Alegre, Orquestra National do Porto, Orquestra Ciudad de Almeria, Mikkeli City Orchestra, Erasmus Chamber Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra, Armenia Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Texas Music Festival for young pre-professional orchestral musicians.

The most recent seasons included re-invitations with the Berne Symphony, Switzerland, Erasmus Chamber Orchestra, Holland, Orchestra de Chambre de Genève, the Texas Music Festival and the regular opening concerts with the Salzburg Chamber Soloists at the International Summer Academy, Mozarteum in collaboration with the Salzburg Festival. Upcoming performances also include the Basel Sinfonietta, Switzerland, Orquestra Sinfonica de Porto Alegre, Brazil, Vogtland Philharmonie Reichenau, Germany, and the Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra, Poland.

Now in his 22nd season, Lavard Skou Larsen, founder and leader of the Salzburg Chamber Soloists continues to tour in Europe and in the USA. In the spring of 2013 they were invited to the world’s prestigious New York Metropolitan Museum to perform Haydn’s Seven Last Words, which received a rave review from New York Times critic Anthony Tomassini.

Lavard Skou Larsen, Music Director of three orchestras, has utilized his leadership skills to expand diversified programs and outreach projects, most notably with the Salzburg Chamber Orchestra’s over fifty successful concerts in the USA. Appearing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Metropolitan Museum, New York, Cerritos Center in Los Angeles, Wenz Concert Hall by Chicago, and in major concert halls in St. Louis, Denver, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Charlotte, Houston, and Palm Beach, the ensemble was enthusiastically received by the audience and critics alike. Lavard Skou Larsen and the Salzburg Chamber Soloists inspired children and young audiences throughout the United States with their outreach performances.

As Professor in violin at the prominent Salzburg Mozarteum, Lavard Skou Larsen has cultivated the next generation of superb musicians through his studio since 2002. His students include  soloists and members of top orchestras throughout Europe.

His DVD release of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, recorded live from Zug, Switzerland, and the recent CD releases of the Organ Concerti by Handel with the Kammerakademie Neuss, the Shostakovich piano concerti and the Hamlet Suite received highest critical acclaim. The world premiere recording of H. Kaminski’s works for orchestra was released by CPO in 2013. The upcoming recording projects for the same label will be Volume 2 and 3 of the complete Organ Concerti by G.F. Haendel, the last symphonies by Michael Haydn with the Deutsche Kammerakademie and with the Salzburg Chamber Soloists the works for orchestra by J. Bruegge. His relationship with the CPO Label gives him the rare freedom to record with any orchestra and repertoire of his choice.

Lavard Skou Larsen was born 1962 in Porto Alegre, Brazil to a Danish conductor and Brazilian violist. He began violin lessons at age four with his father and already by fourteen he was admitted to the Salzburg Mozarteum to study with Helmut Zehetmair. He received his performance diploma with distinction and completed his postgraduate diploma under Sandor Vegh. He won the prizes "Concertino Prague" and the "Sergio Lorenzi", both as soloist and chamber musician. At age twenty he was a member of the Camerata Academia under Sandor Vegh.

His conducting skills developed naturally through the early mentoring by his father Gunnar, and were molded by his inspiration of his role model, maestro Sergio Celibidache, which at age fifteen resulted in the first prize of Austria’s Young Musicians Competition. Already at age 23, he was offered to take charge of the European Union Chamber Orchestra as artistic director and leader.

Equally successful as a violin soloist, Lavard Skou Larsen performed at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Salzburg’s Mozarteum’ s large concert hall, Beethoven Halle, Bonn, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, and on major stages in Paris, Cologne, Frankfurt, Geneva, Switzerland, and Birmingham to name a few. His debut CD was released in 1991 with the Mozart Serenades for Naxos, followed by a Denon Release in 1994 of the Sinfonia Concertante by Mozart, partnering with violinist Boris Belkin and the world premiere recording of the complete violin sonatas by Brazilian composer Camargo M. Guarnieris with pianist Alexander Muellenbach.Lavard Skou Larsen’s dual Nationality and the influence of his education background in Salzburg’s musical tradition, has molded his commitment and passion to music-making for an international diverse audience. His understanding and the talent to effortlessly work with large symphony orchestras is directly influenced from his profound knowledge and experience as a chamber musician.

Lavard Skou Larsen, his wife Emeline and their two children live in Salzburg.