Appointed as Music Director of the Houston Symphony in 2001, Hans Graf concluded his tenure in May 2013; he currently holds the title of Conductor Laureate. Prior to his appointment in Houston, he was the Music Director of the Calgary Philharmonic for eight seasons and held the same post with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine for six years. He also led the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra from 1984 to 1994, and is a frequent guest with all the major North American orchestras. An experienced opera conductor, Maestro Graf first conducted the Vienna State Opera in 1981 and has since led productions in the opera houses of Berlin, Munich, Paris and Rome. Recent engagements include Parsifal at the Zurich Opera and Boris Godunov at the Opera National du Rhin in Strasbourg.
Born near Linz, Hans Graf first studied violin and piano. After receiving diplomas in piano and conducting from the Musikhochschule in Graz, he continued his studies in Italy with Franco Ferrara and Sergui Celibadache, and in Russia with Arvid Jansons. He has been awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Legion d'Honneur by the French government for championing French music around the world, as well as the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria.