2015 Conductors

Josep Caballé-Domenech

Consistently cited for his passionate and insightful interpretations, Spanish conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech is currently in his third season as Music Director of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. He has also recently been appointed General Music Director of the Halle Staatskapelle in Germany, where he will direct both the Philharmonic Orchestra and the Opera House. From 2005-2007, Mr. Caballé-Domenech was Principal Guest Conductor of the Norrköping Symphony in Sweden. Venues where he has conducted include New York’s Carnegie Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein and Theater an der Wien, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, London’s Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall, the Teatre Royal du Versailles in Paris and Berlin’s Konzerthaus..

Among Josep Caballé-Domenech’s guest appearances in the United States are the Fort Worth Symphony, Houston Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, South Florida Symphony and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, as well as multiple engagements with the Aspen Music Festival, Texas Music Fesitval (Houston) and the Wintergreen Festival in Virginia.

Worldwide, his upcoming engagements include debuts in Essen, the Staatsoper/Berlin, Toulouse and the Santander Festival in Spain. Previous collaborations include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/London, WDR/Cologne, Zurich Tonhalle, Bamberg Symphony, Bern Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, DSO/Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, Munich Radio Orchestra, Baden-Baden Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic, Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi/Milan, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Tonkünstlerorchester/Vienna, Trondheim Symphony, and almost all the important Spanish orchestras.

After the recent success of Mr. Caballé-Domenech’s debut at the Dresdner Semperoper conducting Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, he will return this season to conduct new productions of Bizet’s Carmen and Rossini’s Barber of Seville. He has also conducted several productions at Barcelona’s Liceu Opera House, Savonnlina festival and at La Fenice in Venice (both Liceu productions), Le nozze di Figaro at the Stuttgart State Opera, Tosca, Carmen and Le nozze di Figaro at the Vienna Volksoper, La Bohème at Lisbon’s Teatro São Carlos, Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet at the opera house in Bilbao and a highly acclaimed production of Luisa Fernanda at the Theater an der Wien with Placido Domingo in the principal role.

Born in Barcelona to a family of musicians, Josep Caballé-Domenech’s early studies included piano, violin, voice and percussion. He later studied conducting at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna and at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen with David Zinman, Jorma Panula and Sergiu Comissiona, where he also received the Aspen Prize. Mr. Caballé-Domenech was named the Sir Colin Davis Protégé in the inaugural cycle of Rolex’s Mentor/Protégé Arts Initiative in 2002.

www.jcaballedomenech.com

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

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.

www.rossenmilanov.com

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 the orchestra. His commitment to these posts accounts for the major portion of his agenda, while increasingly in demand as guest conductor in Brazil, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, France and in the USA. 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 professionals.

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 will be with the Basel Sinfonietta, Switzerland, Orquestra Sinfonica de Porto Alegre, Brazil, Vogtland Philharmonie Reichenau, Germany and the Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra, Poland.

Now in his 22h 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 the top critic, Anthony Tomassini, of the New York Times.

Lavard Skou Larsen, Music Director of three orchestras, has expanded with his leadership its 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 with their outreach projects for children and young audiences throughout the United States..

As Professor in violin at the prominent Salzburg Mozarteum, Lavard Skou Larsen cultivates the next generation of superb musicians in his studio since 2002. His students came to be soloists and members of top orchestras.

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.

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.

www.lavardskoularsen.com