German conductor Lothar Zagrosek began his musical career as a member of the Regensburg cathedral choir. He studied conducting with Hans Swarovsky, Istvàn Kertész, Bruno Maderna and Herbert von Karajan.
After first posts as General Music Director in Solingen and in Krefeld-Mönchengladbach, he was appointed Chief Conductor of the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Vienna. Subsequently, he spent three years at the helm of the Paris Opera (1986-1989), during which period he was also Chief Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. From 1990 to 1992 Lothar Zagrosek was General Music Director of the Leipzig Opera. Since 1995 he is associated with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie as First Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor. From 1997 to 2006 Lothar Zagrosek was General Music Director of the Stuttgart State Opera. During his highly successful tenure, this company obtained the critics' award "Opera Company of the Year" five times, he himself was named "Conductor of the Year" twice. From 2006 to 2011 he served as Chief Conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.
Internationally acclaimed for his operatic work, he conducted at the Vienna Staatsoper (most recently, in 2010, Schönberg's Moses und Aron) and the Staatsoper Hamburg, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and at the Glyndebourne Festival. Last season, after a successful staging of Nono's L'Intolleranza at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, he was immediately re-invited for concerts of Wagner's Rheingold. Moreover, he conducted semi-staged performances of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice at the Festspielhaus St. Pölten. In the current season he will return to the Oper Frankfurt for two works by Luigi Dallapiccola, Volo di Notte and Il Prigioniero.
In concert, Lothar Zagrosek worked with many of the major international orchestras like the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, all major German radio orchestras, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, London Philharmonic, Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre National de France, Atlanta Symphony, Orchestra Symphonique de Montréal and NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo. He appeared at prestigious festivals such as Wiener Festwochen, Berliner Festwochen, the London Proms, the Munich Opera Festival and the Salzburg Festival and is a regular guest at the festivals for contemporary music in Donaueschingen, Berlin, Brussels and Paris.
Lothar Zagrosek’s extensive discography includes outstanding repertoire of the 20th century such as Al Gran Sole Carico D'Amore by Luigi Nono and Lachenmann's Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern as well as Dantons Tod by Gottfried von Einem, Olivier Messiaens' Saint François d'Assise (with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau) and the complete recording of all works for choir and orchestra by Paul Hindemith. He embarked on a number of recordings for Decca’s "Entartete Musik" series, amongst them Ernst Krenek’s Jonny spielt auf, Der Kaiser von Atlantis by Viktor Ullmann, Hanns Eislers Deutsche Sinfonie (all of them with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig), Der Gewaltige Hahnrei by Berthold Goldschmidt, Die Vögel by Walter Braunfels as well as Verlobung im Traum by Hans Krasa. Wagner's entire Ring, featuring the much acclaimed production of the Stuttgart State Opera, is available on CD (Naxos) and DVD (EuroArts). The label Altus released live CDs of Beethoven's 7th and 8th Symphony and of Schubert's Symphony No 8 ("The Great") with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin. Several of Lothar Zagrosek's recordings received major international awards, including the Edison Prize, the Cannes Classical Award and the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis or were nominated for the GRAMMY.
Being passionate about musical education and the support of young talent, he is Patron of the "Offensive for Cultural Education" in Berlin, Honorary Chairman of the Jury of the "Hochschulwettbewerb Dirigieren" 2008 and Chairman of the Artistic Advisory Council of the Conducting Forum of Deutscher Musikrat.
In 2006 Lothar Zagrosek was granted the "Hessischer Kulturpreis" in Frankfurt. For his excellent musical achievements the Association of German Critics awarded him the "Critics Award 2009" in the field of music.