Franz Welser-Möst is conductor of the year

Franz Welser-Möst is conductor of the year


norman lebrecht

August 03, 2021

The Austrian Music Awards have honoured him for last summer’s production of Richard Strauss’s Elektra at Salzburg.

The festival itself was singled out with a special award for ‘Courage and encouragement in the pandemic’.

For more on FW-M see here.


  • Kenneth says:

    I really can’t see it. I’ve tried, but I can’t seem to believe in him.

  • Anonymous Bosch says:

    This prize, created by a long-time overrated character tenor at Volksoper Wien in 2012, is so utterly meaningless that Wiener Staatsoper has refused to participate and asked that its performers and productions not be considered for nominations (and why Volksoper continues to dominate the nominations).

    With all due respect, the vast majority of nominations go to Austria’s regional theatres, but do you really think that a Sally Bowles (“Cabaret”) from Volksoper can compete with a Fiordiligi at Salzburger Festspiele, or a tenor from Stadttheater Klagenfurt can beat a beloved, internationally-renowned tenor who appeared for six performances at Theater an der Wien?

    In a field of three, FWM was up against the only other opera conductor at Salzburger Festspiele at the drastically-reduced 2020 festival, and another from the tiny Salzburger Landestheater (across the river and totally unconnected to the various festivals).

    No one here takes this gratuitous mutual-handshaking seriously.

    Best orchestra? Wiener Philharmoniker. Anyone surprised?

  • Gustavo says:

    Franz Leopold Maria Möst

    Möst adopted the stage name Welser-Möst in the mid 1980ties as a tribute to the city of Wels, where he grew up.

    So that’s how he became “Frankly Worse than Most”.

    • Anonymous Bosch says:

      If you want all the details:

      In 1985, Möst assumed the stage name Welser-Möst at the suggestion of his mentor, Baron Andreas von Bennigsen of Liechtenstein, in an homage to the city of Wels where he grew up. In 1986, he was adopted by Bennigsen. In 1992, Welser-Möst married Bennigsen’s former wife, Angelika.

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    How is that possible? Are the people giving the award musicians?

  • Gustavo says:

    He is possibly the only living Austrian conductor of significance.

    I may have a black-out, but except for Gustav Kuhn, I can’t think of any other living Austrian conductor.

    Gielen, Harnoncourt, von Karajan, Böhm, Kleiber, etc. – all dead.

    • Derek H says:

      There is Manfred Honeck at Pittsburgh.

      However, you make a good point that in previous generations there were many significant Austrian and German conductors. Today not so many and I wonder why?

      • Gustavo says:

        Yes, in Germany, everything seems to be limited to the retrograde Thielemann type and some hyped females or milk beards.

        Germany clearly lacks Maestros.

        Could be a 1969-ties generational issue. There are also no brilliant statesmen out there anymore.

        The only way forward is to bring-in excellence from abroad and educate until it hurts.

      • J Barcelo says:

        It is interesting how conducting strength moves around the continent: for a long time the powerhouse was Germany, then on to Hungary (Ormandy, Szell, Reiner, Solti…) then Italy for a brief time. Now it seems so many of the stronger ones come from Finland. Maybe it has to do with the teachers?

      • Gustavo says:

        And isn’t Kirill Petrenko Austrian?

        And Rattle German?

    • Kenny says:

      I trust you mean Erich Kleiber… Nothing Austrian about Karl.

  • mhte says:

    Before his concert with the Gewandhausorchester, Leipzig.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Stop repeating that ‘Frankly Worse than Most’ joke by some stupid guy.

    • mary says:

      All he has to do is to go back to his real name, Franz Leopold Maria Möst, and the epithet will no longer apply.

      (And it’s a lot harder to find words that rhyme with “Leopold Maria”)

  • Thomas Müthing says:

    He’s an oily Austrian “g’schaftlhuber”, that’s what he is. Arrogang, and, worse, vain.