The German conductor, Lothar Zagrosek, began his musical career as a member OF the Regensburger Domspatzen, including performances as the First Boy in W.A. Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the 1954 Salzburg Festival. In his late teens his interest turned toward conducting, From 1962 to 1967, he studied conducting with some of the most prominent maestros of the day, including Hans Swarowsky, István Kertész, Bruno Maderna and Herbert von Karajan.
From 1967, Lothar Zagrosek began appearing regularly at opera houses in Salzburg, Kiel, and Darmstadt. After posts as General Music Director in Solingen and in Krefeld-Mönchengladbach, Lothar Zagrosek was appointed Chief Conductor of the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Vienna from 1982 to 1986. Subsequently he spent three years at the helm of the Paris Grand Opéra (1986-1989), during which period he was also Chief Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1988. From 1990 to 1992, he was General Music Director of the Leipzig City Opera. In 1995, he became Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie. From 1997 to 2006, he was was General Music Director of the Stuttgart State Opera (Wurttemberg Opera). During his highly successful tenure this company obtained the critics’ award ‘Opera Company of the Year’ five times, with Lothar Zagrosek named ‘Conductor of the Year’ twice. From 2006 to 2011, he was Chief Conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the former known as the Berlin Symphony Orchestra (Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester).
Internationally acclaimed for his operatic work, Lothar Zagrosek has conducted at the Wiener Staatsoper, Staatsoper Hamburg, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, Frankfurt Opera, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, and Royal Opera House Covent in London..
In concert Lothar Zagrosek has worked with many of the major international orchestras, including the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Berliner Philharmoniker, Münchner Philharmoniker, all the major German radio orchestras (including Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, etc.), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Symphonique de Montréal and NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo. He has appeared at prestigious festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, Glyndebourne Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Berliner Festwochen, Munich Opera Festiv, BBC Proms and London Promenade Concerts, and is a regular guest at the festivals for contemporary music in Donaueschingen, Berlin, Brussels and Paris.
Being passionate about musical education and the support of young talent, Lothar Zagrosek is Patron of the ‘Offensive for Cultural Education’ in Berlin, Honorary Chairman of the Jury of the ‘Hochschulwettbewerb Dirigieren’, and Chairman of the Artistic Advisory Council of the Conducting Forum of Deutscher Musikat. In 2006 he was granted the ‘Hessischer Kulturpreis’ in Frankfurt. For his achievements the Association of German Critics awarded him the ‘Critics Award 2009’ in the field of music.
From about the mid-1980's, Lothar Zagrosek began drawing international acclaim for his work in the realm of opera, particularly for his advocacy of lesser-known fare. His list of recordings is witness to his commitment in the cause of neglected opera: Walter Braunfels' Die Vögel, Hans Krása's Verlobung im Träum, Franz Schreker's Die Gezeichneten, Berthold Goldschmidt's Der gewaltige Hahnrei, Erwin Schulhoff's Die Mondsüchtige, 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 (Der Ring des Nibelungen), W.A. Mozart (Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, etc.), and Alban Berg (Lulu and Wozzeck), as well as in both the realms of traditional orchestral music and more progressive circles -- he has worked with Pierre Boulez' Ensemble InterContemporain. Beside Decca, Zagrosek has recorded for Naxos, CPO, EuroArts, and Arthaus Musik. Among his 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.