Hugh Wolff

Biography

Born: October 21, 1953  
Hugh Wolff, one of the few American conductors to enjoy a truly international reputation, has become especially renowned for his advocacy of contemporary music. Wolff, born in Paris to American parents, received a thorough musical training; he pursued formal studies in piano, composition, and conducting, earning degrees from Harvard University and the Peabody Institute. He also had the opportunity to study composition with Olivier Messiaen and Read more conducting with Charles Bruch in Paris.

Wolff's conducting career began in 1979, when he was appointed Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra; he served as associate conductor of that ensemble, then led by Mstislav Rostropovich, from 1982 to 1985. During that period he also served as music director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic (1981-1986), his first such appointment. In 1985 became music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, a post he retained until 1992. From the 1980s to the present he has also appeared frequently as a guest conductor throughout the United States and Europe, including appearances with the Czech Philharmonic, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic.

Wolff came into new prominence through his association with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, which he led as principal conductor (1988-1991) and music director (1991-2000). During his tenure there, he recorded over 20 compact discs -- more than those of any other conductor of the SPCO -- of repertoire ranging from Vivaldi to Dvorak to Ravel to new works by young composers like Edgar Meyer. He also led the ensemble on a well-received European tour.

Since 1997 Wolff has served as chief conductor of the Radio Orchestra of Frankfurt. In 2001, his recordings of Antheil's Symphonies Nos. 1 & 6 and of Barber's and Meyer's violin concertos, with Hilary Hahn, won Cannes Classical awards. Read less
Christmas With Thomas Hampson / Hampson, Wolff, St. Paul Co
Release Date: 11/01/1991   Label: Teldec  
Catalog: 73135   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 52 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    New Music Collections, Vol. 3: Orchestral
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 206 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Causton,  Dominic Muldowney,  Nicholas Maw,  Richard Ayres  ... 
    Performer:  Roy Carter,  Wim Timmermans,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Robin Michael
    Conductor:  Nicholas Collon,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Roland Kluttig  ... 
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  • 2.
    Meyer, Bottesini: Concertos / Edgar Meyer, Bell, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56148 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Bottesini,  Edgar Meyer
    Performer:  Edgar Meyer,  Joshua Bell,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Teldec - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 643851 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Josef Protschka,  Barbara Bonney,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Rizzi,  Reinbert De Leeuw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 4.
    Handel: Water Music - Masterpieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564651683 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Lowell Mason,  Anonymous
    Performer:  Richard [Tenor Vocal] Morton,  Felicity Palmer,  John Angelo Messana,  Felicity Lott  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Raymond Leppard,  Hugh Wolff  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Les Musiciens du Louvre
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  • 5.
    In The Shadow Of War / Steven Isserlis
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1992 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch,  Frank Bridge,  Stephen Hough
    Performer:  Steven Isserlis
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff,  Gábor Takács-Nagy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,  Tapiola Sinfonietta
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  • 6.
    Sergei Nakariakov - Trumpet & Orchestra  [6-CD Set]
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 993672 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  André Jolivet,  Henri Tomasi  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Nakariakov
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Hugh Wolff,  Jörg Faerber,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn  ... 
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  • 7.
    Boris Berezovsky - The Teldec Recordings
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 2564664684 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Leopold Godowsky,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Boris Berezovsky
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff,  Kurt Masur,  Dmitry Liss,  Eliahu Inbal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Ural State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Hilary Hahn Spectacular
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 795069 Release Date: 02/21/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski,  Hugh Wolff,  David Zinman,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 9.
    Liszt Bicentary Edition, Vol. 5: Boris Berezovsky
    Label: Piano Classics   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Boris Berezovsky
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
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  • 10.
    Prokofiev, Haydn, Bizet: First Symphonies / Wolff, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4673020 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
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  • 11.
    The Liszt Experience / Berezovsky, Hoffmann, Leonskaja, Aimard, Alain
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 72554 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Boris Berezovsky,  György Sebok,  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Marie-Claire Alain  ... 
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff,  Kurt Masur,  Jean Sourisse,  James Conlon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Audite Nova Vocal Ensemble  ... 
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  • 12.
    American Landscapes
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94428 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Corigliano,  Joseph Schwantner,  Lukas Foss
    Performer:  Sharon Isbin
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
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  • 13.
    Yo-Yo Ma - 30 Years Outside the Box
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 752307 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 90
    Composer:  Sandeep Das,  Traditional,  Kayhan Kalhor,  Zhou Long  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Gramley,  Kim Dong-Won,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Mark Suter  ... 
    Conductor:  Miguel Harth-Bedoya,  John T. Williams,  Ennio Morricone,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Qi Lin  ... 
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  • 14.
    Brett Dean: Viola Concerto, 12 Angry Men, Komarov's Fall
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1696 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Brett Dean
    Performer:  Brett Dean
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff,  Simone Young
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sydney Symphony Orchestra,  Sydney Symphony Orchestra members
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  • 15.
    40 Most Beautiful Love Themes - Vivaldi, Mozart, Debussy, Etc / Mehta, Ristenpart, Haitink, Scimone, Masur, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 511598 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Alessandro Marcello,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Sharon Isbin,  Cyprien Katsaris,  Alessio Bax,  Chloë Hanslip  ... 
    Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal,  Armin Jordan,  Paul Mann,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Chamber Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Basel Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    The Handel Experience / Scimone, Koopman, Leppard, Gardiner, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 511586 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Lowell Mason
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Ton Koopman,  Felicity Palmer,  Ryland Davies  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Marc Minkowski,  William Christie,  Ton Koopman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  Les Arts Florissants  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 17.
    40 Most Beautiful Spring Classics - Vivaldi, Glazunov, Copland, Etc / Masur, Koopman, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 447100 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Performer:  Marieke Blankestijn,  Sumi Jo,  Barbara Bonney,  Viktoria Postnikova  ... 
    Conductor:  James Conlon,  Kurt Masur,  Zubin Mehta,  Hugh Wolff  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 18.
    Rostropovich Plays Cello Works
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 447036 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Marcel Landowski,  Rodion Shchedrin,  Renaud Gagneux,  Alun Hoddinott  ... 
    Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Hugh Seenan,  Layton James  ... 
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Seiji Ozawa,  Kent Nagano,  Cristobal Halffter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 19.
    40 Most Beautiful Christmas Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 361852 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  Adolphe Adam,  Michael Praetorius,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Michael George,  Sumi Jo,  Gottfried Bach,  Gottfried [Classical Keyboards] Bach  ... 
    Conductor:  Robin Stapleton,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Alexander Lazarev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  London Heinrich Schütz Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    The Best Of Edgar Meyer / Ma, Bell, O'connor, Fleck, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 713233 Release Date: 09/04/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edgar Meyer,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Traditional
    Performer:  Edgar Meyer,  Joshua Bell,  Mike Marshall,  Béla Fleck  ... 
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 21.
    The Essential Hilary Hahn
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 709580 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Edgar Meyer,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Leonard Bernstein,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff,  Marek Janowski,  David Zinman,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 22.
    Artist Portrait - Mstislav Rostropovich
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 49706 Release Date: 06/19/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Rheinberger,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Herbert Tachezi,  Hugh Wolff,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Bernstein: Serenade; McLean: Elements / Lewis, Wolff, LSO
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3357 Release Date: 10/31/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael McLean,  Leonard Bernstein
    Performer:  Brian Lewis
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Jean-Yves Thibaudet - The Movie Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 428419 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alex North,  Michael Nyman,  Dario Marianelli,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Hugh Wolff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Liszt: Piano Concertos Nos 1 And 2
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4620442 Release Date: 05/09/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Boris Berezovsky
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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