Born: Nov 13, 1942 in Otting (Waging am See)
From about the mid-'80s Lothar Zagrosek began drawing international acclaim for his work in the realm of opera, particularly for his advocacy of lesser-known fare. He had held several posts in the smaller opera houses of Germany and Austria before being appointed music director at the Paris Opera in 1986, when he made his first important international breakthrough. Zagrosek's list of recordings is witness to his commitment in the cause of neglected opera: Walter Braunfels' Die Vogel, Hans Krasa's Verlobung im Traum, Franz Schreker's Die Gezeichneten, Berthold Goldschmidt's Der gewaltige Hahnrei, Erwin Schulhoff's Die Mondsuchtige, and many more. These and other operas appeared in Decca's Entartete Musik series, with which Zagrosek has become closely associated over the years. He has also distinguished himself in more traditional operatic fare, such as Wagner (the Ring), Mozart (Cosi fan tutte, Die Zauberflote, etc.), and Berg (Lulu and Wozzeck), as well as in both the realms of traditional orchestral music and more progressive circles - he has worked with Boulez's Ensemble InterContemporain. Beside Decca, Zagrosek has recorded for Naxos, CPO, EuroArts, and Arthaus Musik.
Lothar Zagrosek was born in the Bavarian city of Otting (Waging am See), Germany. As a child he sang in boys choirs and was eventually taken into the Regensburg Boys' Choir. In his late teens his interest turned toward conducting, and from 1962-1967 he studied with some of the most prominent maestros of the day, including Hans Swarowsky, Herbert von Karajan, Bruno Maderna, and Istvan Kertesz.
From 1967 Zagrosek began appearing regularly at opera houses in Salzburg, Kiel, and Darmstadt. In 1982 he began a three-year stint as conductor of the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He also spent three years at the helm of the Paris Opera (1986-1988), and became chief guest conductor at the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the year of his Paris departure.
A string of important posts ensued: in 1990 he was appointed general music director at the Leipzig City Opera; he then served in Stuttgart as chief conductor of the Wurttemberg Opera from 1997 to 2006; upon his departure from Stuttgart he accepted the appointment as chief conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, formerly known as the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.
Among Zagrosek's later recordings are the 2002 DVD of Wagner's Das Rheingold on EuroArts featuring the Stuttgart State Opera, and the CD version of the same performance issued on Naxos in 2006.
- Robert Cummings (All Music Guide)