Known for his wide range of repertoire and creative programming, the distinguished Austrian conductor Hans Graf is one of today's most highly respected musicians. Appointed Music Director of the Houston Symphony in 2001, Graf concluded his tenure in May 2013 and is the longest serving Music Director in the orchestra’s history. He currently holds the title of Conductor Laureate. Hans Graf is a frequent guest with all of the major North American orchestras. His recent and upcoming guest engagements include appearances with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas, Baltimore, Vancouver, Milwaukee and National symphonies and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra among others. Born near Linz, Hans Graf first studied violin and piano. After receiving diplomas in piano and conducting from the Musikhochschule in Graz, he continued his studies in Italy with Franco Ferrara and Sergui Celibadache and in Russia with Arvid Jansons. Graf has been awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Legion d'Honneur by the French government for championing French music around the world as well as the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria. Starting in October 2013 he will be a Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the University Mozarteum Salzburg.