Walter Weller was born in Vienna and became a member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 17. The following year he founded the Weller Quartet, which became internationally famous during its ten-year existence and made many distinguished recordings. In 1961 Walter Weller became first Konzertmeister of the Vienna Philharmonic and in 1966 made his debut as a conductor. In 1969 he signed a long-term contract with the Vienna Staatsoper, which enabled him to acquire a very extensive operatic repertoire.
In the 2007/08 season, Walter Weller became Music Director to the National Orchestra of Belgium. Mr Weller was Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra between January 1992 and July 1997 and is now Conductor Emeritus. Together they have made highly successful tours to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Mr. Weller has been bestowed the title of Conductor Laureate to the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra and also holds the position of Associate Director with the Orchestra of Valencia, Spain. He was Artistic Director of the Allgemeine Musikgesellschaft Basel, General Music Director of the Basel Theater and Chief Conductor of the Basel Symphony Orchestra from September 1994 until July 1997, Principal Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from 1980-1985 and Music Director and Artistic Director to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic from 1977-1980.
Walter Weller has been invited as a guest conductor by major orchestras throughout the world including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, RSO Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala Milan, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, WDR Köln, and has a regular relationship with both RTVE Madrid and Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.
Operatic engagements have included Der Fliegende Holländer at La Scala, Ariadne auf Naxos and Der Fliegende Holländer for English National Opera, a new production of Der Freischütz at Teatro Communale, Bologna, a new production of Prince Igor for Berlin Staatskapelle, Fidelio and Der Rosenkavalier for Scottish Opera, and a new production of Cosi Fan Tutte and der Rosenkavalier with Opera de Monte Carlo.
Weller´s extensive discography includes recordings with Decca, EMI, Collins Classics and Chandos Records with whom he recorded all the Beethoven Symphonies (including Beethoven Symphony No.10) with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Fuga Libra, with whom he recorded Bohuslav Martinu (Symphony Nr. 4, Le Depart), Josef Suk (“Asrael” Symphony, Return of the dead Victorious), Strauss (Strauss-Burleske, Ein Heldenleben), Glazunow (Symphony Nr.5, Piano-Concerto Nr.1).
On 22 December 1998 Walter Weller was awarded the great Silver Cross of Honour for Services to the Republic Austria, which in the past was given to Josef Krips and Herbert von Karajan. He has received the Beethoven Society Medal, Austria, the Mozart Interpretation Award, Salzburg, and in 1999 a medal from the Cambridge Biographical Centre for Outstanding People of the 20th Century.
R E V I E W S
City of Birmingham Orchestra, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, September 2012
"Infectious Tchaikovsky and Bruch with Yossif Ivanov and the CBSO"
"This concert exploded into life with Weber's overture from Euryanthe. Guest conductor Walter Weller displayed economy of movement but set the orchestra off at a cracking pace, creating an upbeat mood that was sustained throughout the evening. Although the opera is rarely heard in its entirety, the overture encapsulates the hero's two great themes, with the drama of martial music from woodwind and brass giving way to the lyrical eloquence of legato strings. Combining the two themes in a fugal development was as fascinating to watch in the hands of the CBSO as it was to hear, with the various elements expertly balanced and controlled as they were passed around. An exuberant final flourish conveyed a feeling of triumph, which set the audience up nicely for the treat in store." - Katherine Dixson, www.bachtrack.com
"I can't believe my luck. All the concerts I have reviewed this month have been real winners - not least this performance by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the veteran Viennese conductor Walter Weller.
"Weller has been a professional musician for 55 years and his wealth of experience was evident in Weber's rousing and richly orchestrated overture to Euryanthe."
"Weller's account of Tchaikovsky Fifth Symphony was equally enthralling, as he brought out so vividly the inner conflicts and restlessness that beset the composer."
"In the finale in which Weller drove the orchestra forward in an outburst of frenzy with a robust contribution from the brass section."
"The CBSO were on stunning form under the masterful direction of Walter Weller."
"The enthusiastic and sustained applause at the end of the performance said it all." Roger Jones, The Citizen
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, April 2011
"What a cracking concert the RSNO, Nicola Benedetti and conductor Walter Weller turned out on Saturday night to a capacity house in Glasgow."
"Weller's Beethoven Four, a classic of its kind, was massively expressive, as solid as a rock, huge in its breadth, and with tremendous points of articulation between paragraphs. It was a performance suffused with two centuries of tradition; and God helps us if the day arrives when we don't appreciate that tradition."
"The RSNO led - and I do mean led - by its new concertmaster, the awesome James Clark, played its socks off for Weller." Michael Tumelty, The Glasgow Herald
Musical Journeys, Gramophone, September 2010
"The National Orchestra of Belgium sounds in fine form under Walter Weller."
"But the NOB is a reinvigorated orchestra and he's pleased with his decision to have become its chief conductor, a post he took up in 2007."
"The challenge, he says, excited him. "I don't just like conducting the best of the best, I prefer taking players with different mentalities and abilities and really improving them as an ensemble. I'm interested to find out how far I can take this orchestra. The sound was very thin at the beginning and the intonation was terrible. But I've gradually been building up a Brahms/Bruckner sound. Now we are a happy orchestra and we work very hard. It's fun."
"There was a feeling that something significant had occurred; a sense that a musical revolution is underway in the home of European diplomacy."James McCarthy, Gramophone