Heinz Wallberg

Heinz Wallberg

Conductor • Piano

• 1923 2004


Heinz Wallberg was a well-known conductor in Germany and Austria.

As a child he studied trumpet, violin, and piano. He studied in the conservatories of Dortmund and Cologne. After graduation, he was accepted as both a violinist and trumpeter in the Cologne and Darmstadt orchestra.

Deciding to become a conductor, he made his earliest appearances in that capacity with several local and regional orchestras, including those of Münster, Trier, and Hagen. In 1954 he became Music Director in Augsburg and, in 1955, as Principal Music Director in Bremen.

He was Principal Music Director in Wiesbaden in 1960 to 1974. At the same time he was the conductor of the Lower Austrian Tonkunstler Orchestra in Vienna (1964 - 1974). In 1975 he became the Principal conductor of the Bavarian Radio Orchestra (until 1982) and of the Essen Philharmonic (lasting through 1991).

After 1991 he guest conducted widely in Japan, France, Britain, Germany, Austria, Finland, and elsewhere, as well as in the major festivals of Salzburg, Munich, Vienna, Florence, Barcelona, Prague and others.

He was a frequent conductor at the Vienna State Opera, where he led over 450 performances. His recording of Weinberger's opera Schwanda the Bagpipe Player was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1982. He conducted the premiere, in 1976 of Werner Egk's opera Die Versuchnung des Heiligen Antonius and Rudolf Wagner-Régeny's opera Das Bergwerk zu Falun.

He accompanied the NHK Symphony of Tokyo, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra on major tours. He was a recipient of the Grand Cross for Distinguished Service in Germany and the Cross of Distinction for Art and Science, First Class, of Austria, and the Bruckner Medal.