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UH Moment

UH Moment: Franz Krager

“I consider myself a teacher before I consider myself a conductor. I’m in it for the kids, and everything I say and do is for them.”


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Franz Anton Krager is Professor of Conducting and Director of Orchestras at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. He has led orchestras around the world, and for 24 years has been instructing musicians at UH.

"As the conductor, you are the interpreter. You are the spokesperson," Krager said. "When I do a Beethoven symphony, Beethoven isn't here to speak for himself. I'm speaking for him."

krager conducting

In 1994, when he arrived at UH, his charge was to develop the struggling orchestra. Thousands of students later, he has guided many to audition for conductor positions around the country, from the New York Philharmonic to the Pacific Symphony.

"It's a team sport, essentially, like a football team," he said. "You train to work together and the longer the team's together, the longer you learn to play together, the tighter you play."

His commitment to young artists extends to those learning and performing in the Texas Music Festival, where he is Music Director and Chief Conductor, and to musicians of Virtuosi of Houston, a young artists chamber orchestra, which he co-founded.

"What's kept me here is the quality—the quality of my colleagues, the quality of the students, the quality of the university, the quality of the facilities," Krager said. "It's a crown jewel—the School of Music—in a crown jewel university. Who would want to leave?"

Franz Anton Krager is part of what's happening at the University of Houston.

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