Hans Stadlmair is best known as the longtime artistic director of the Munich Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble he led for 40 years in over 4,000 concerts and on countless recordings. Certain 21st century listeners know him primarily, however, as the foremost champion of the symphonies of (Joseph) Joachim Raff, whose entire cycle of 11, along with other orchestral works, he recorded to great acclaim for the Tudor label from 2005-2007. Stadlmair has tended to avoid opera but has otherwise been versatile in his choice of repertory, leading works by a range of composers from J.S. Bach and Biber to Bernstein and Zwilich. He has toured throughout Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa, and has recorded for such labels as DG, Orfeo, Vox, and Denon.
Hans Stadlmair was born in Neuhofen an der Krems, Austria, on May 3, 1929. From 1946-1952 he studied violin, composition, and conducting at the Vienna Academy of Music, where his teachers included Clemens Krauss and Alfred Uhl. In Stuttgart he had private studies in composition until 1956 with Johann Nepomuk David.
From 1956-1995 Stadlmair served as artistic director of the Munich Chamber Orchestra. Under him, the orchestra, founded in 1950, flourished steadily, presenting both traditional fare and many world premieres, including the 1971 premiere of Wilhelm Killmayer's Fin al punto. Stadlmair also led the ensemble on more than 500 recorded radio broadcasts for Bavarian Radio. While he conducted the MCO in a regular slate of concerts and on frequent tours abroad, he also managed to find time for composition: Stadlmair achieved considerable success with his 1966 Toccata for strings and harpsichord and 1970 Sinfonia serena, for string orchestra.
Stadlmair and the MCO were gaining international renown throughout the 1970s and 1980s from both their recordings and radio broadcasts. As a composer, too, he was continuing to draw notice from works like the 1981 Sonata da chiesa, for viola and organ. In 1989 Stadlmair received Germany's Order of Merit for his musical achievements. Following his 1996 departure from his long-held Munich post, Stadlmair remained busy both in composition and as a conductor. Not only was he leading the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in concert and on recording, but he was turning out such important works as the orchestral piece Miró (2006), which received a delayed but major premiere in 2011 by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under Christian Thielemann.