He was a violist, composer and orchestral conductor born in Vienna, Austria.
When he was a child his musical ability became obvious and when he was 14 he entered the Vienna Music Academy to study composition, theory piano, organ and violin, later including the viola. He graduated in 1946 and became a violist in the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and in 1948 he won a gold medal at the Geneva Music Competition that got him noticed and led to a position in the Orchester de la Suisse Romande.
He returned to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in 1953 as the principal violist but still continued to enter competitions. His organ composition, which he entered into an international competition, won him first prize. This pushed him to resign his violist post and take on the position of conductor with the orchestra instead, as well as taking on the same post at the Vienna Burgtheater where he also had the opportunity to compose music for shows.
In 1964 he accepted the position as Principal Conductor at the Bonn Opera and in the same period he was making recordings on a regular basis, gaining recognition for his recordings of Mozart and Haydn in collaboration with Alfred Brendel and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. His career moved on from Bonn to Ulm and then he accepted the post of Music Director in the South-West German Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim where he would stay from 1972 until 1982. From then he would only take on positions as a guest conductor and joined the faculty of the Vienna Hochschule fur Musik.
As a composer his compositions included oratorios, a musical, orchestral works, stage works, a TV opera and chamber pieces. He retired in 1992 after having a successful career where he was the recipient of the Austrian State Award, the Culture Award for the City of Vienna and the State of Lower Austria’s Prize in Mozart Research among many others.
During his retirement he continued giving radio broadcasts on Austrian National Radio, which he did for at least 17 years, and from 2001 had his own series Capriccio for the station Radio Stephansdom. He also performed with his ensemble, Concillium musicum Wien.
He passed away in July 2017 after a short illness. He was 90 years old.
Here he conducts the South West German Orchestra Pforzheim in an excerpt of a performance of Johann Krebs “Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra”…