Michael Halasz

Michael Halasz

Biographie / biography

Exemplifying the efficacy of good recordings, conductor Michael Halász has achieved worldwide recognition for his extensive Naxos discography. Fully prepared to seize the opportunity to preserve his interpretations on disc, the conductor has won strong approbation for both orchestral works and several operas, which critics determined warranted highest recommendation. After his successful recording of Mozart's

Die Zauberflöte, even stronger accolades awaited his Fidelio with Inga Nielsen, Gösta Winbergh, and Kurt Moll, singers who matched the best efforts of other legendary casts. For detail and propulsiveness, Halász's own work demanded comparison with the best of those who had preceded him. Trained as a bassoonist, Halász began his professional career as principal bassoonist in the Philharmonia Hungarica. After eight years with that ensemble, he elected to train as a conductor in Essen, subsequently making his podium debut at Munich's Gardenplatztheater in 1972. For the next three years, he directed the theater's operetta productions before moving to Frankfurt to assume the position of principal Kapellmeister under Christoph von Dohnányi. In Frankfurt, he learned an extensive opera repertory and, in 1977, he followed Dohnányi to Hamburg to continue his work as principal Kapellmeister. The following year, Halász was appointed general music director at the Hagen Opera and remained in that position until his engagement as resident conductor at the Vienna Staatsoper in 1991. While primarily devoting himself to his chief positions, the conductor has accepted guest-conducting engagements and has been a frequent visitor to the recording studio. In addition to his opera recordings, Halász has taped numerous orchestral works for Naxos, most notably symphonies of Beethoven and Mahler and two volumes of symphonic poems by Liszt, the latter greeted with especially warm reviews. His collaboration with cellist Maria Kliegel in the cello concertos of Elgar and Dvorák also elicited positive remarks. Important works in the choral repertory, too, have been recorded by Halász, including Fauré's Requiem, Mozart's Mass in C minor and Kyrie in D minor, and Pergolesi's Stabat Mater. For the Naxos sister label Marco Polo, Halász has recorded works by Anton Rubinstein, Myaskovsky, Goldmark, and Franz Schmidt. Franz Schrecker's opera Der Ferne Klang, recorded for Marco Polo, was subsequently re-released on the Naxos label.


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