Wolfgang Holzmair, Mag. Mag. O.Univ.-Prof.i.R.

University Professor in Lied and Oratorio Singing

  • Mirabellplatz 1
  • 5020 Salzburg

Wolfgang Holzmair was born in Vöcklabruck (Austria) and studied economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (Mag.rer.soc.oec.) in addition to voice (Hilde Rössel-Majdan ) and art song (Erik Werba) at the Vienna Music University. He obtained his MA at the Mozarteum University with a thesis on the little-known composer Max Kowalski.


The artist has received regular invitations for guest appearances as a lieder singer in leading music centres of the world, such as London, Lisbon, Moscow, New York, Seoul, Washington, at the Risör Festival (Norway), at the Bath, Belfast and Edinburgh Festivals (GB), the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad (Switzerland), the Bregenz Festival, the Styriarte Festival as well as the Carinthian Summer Music Festival (Austria), performing together with leading lieder accompanists of the day. A particular highlight here is the symbiotic collaboration with the British pianist Imogen Cooper.


Operatic roles include Papageno and Speaker (Zauberflöte), Guglielmo and Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), various roles in operas by Haydn, Wolfram (Tannhäuser), Harlequin and Music Master (Ariadne auf Naxos), Faninal (Rosenkavalier), Olivier and Count (Capriccio), Father (Hänsel und Gretel), Valentin (Faust), Eisenstein and Dr. Falke (Fledermaus), Danilo (Lustige Witwe), Pelléas (Pelléas et Mélisande, Debussy), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Britten), Hans Scholl (Weisse Rose, Udo Zimmermann) and Eduard (Neues vom Tage, Hindemith).


Wolfgang Holzmair has worked with leading European and American orchestras, such as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Vienna Symphonic and the Concertgebouw, under conductors like Blomstedt, Boulez, Chailly, Iván Fischer, Frühbeck de Burgos, Haitink, Harnoncourt, Norrington, Ozawa, etc.


Extensive critically praised recording work in the field of opera and concert (including Grammy Award for the Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem under Herbert Blomstedt).


Around 50 solo CDs (lieder, French mélodies from Haydn to Ernst Krenek as well as the major French composers). Over many years a special commitment to promoting the work of formerly persecuted, so-called “decadent” composers, demonstrated among other things by his CD recordings of Mittler, Zeisl, Schreker, Krenek, Kowalski and his Theresienstadt CD.


Since 1998 has conducted a lieder and oratorio class at the Mozarteum. Master classes in Europe, North America and Asia. Jury member at prestigious competitions (Cardiff, Montreal, Oslo, Wigmore Hall in London). Artistic advisor and curator of several concert series.
From autumn 2014 to the beginning of 2019 head of the Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Salzburg, introducing fundamental reforms  in the artistic, educational and administrative areas.


Besides the major works of the oratorio repertoire, in teaching his students Wolfgang Holzmair pays particular attention to the lieder composed by the masters of Viennese classicism (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven), to Franz Schubert, to all the masters of the German lied and French mélodie from Schumann to Schoenberg, Fauré to Debussy, as well as special projects to identify major interconnections. This is also a way to encourage an interest in devising artistically valuable programmes as well as taking individual responsibility for bringing them to fruition.