Hans Landesmann

© APA/Roland Schlager

Landesmann Hans

General Information

Year of Birth:  1932
Date of Birth:  1. March 1932
Place of Birth:  Vienna
Country of Birth: 
Year of Death:  2013
Date of Death:  18. September 2013
Place of Death:  Salzburg

Hans Landesmann was born on March 1,1932 in Vienna into a dynasty of businessmen and industrialists and grew up in Budapest and Vienna. He began playing piano during his high school at the Vienna Musikhochschule. After graduating from high school in England, he studied mathematics, physics and chemistry at the Sorbonne in Paris and completed his studies at Columbia University in New York (1954 Diplom Ingenieur, 1956 doctorate in chemistry). In 1957 he returned to Vienna. He began his professional career in his parents' business, the cattle and meat wholesaler "Alexander Landesmann und Sohn" in St. Marx. Soon, however, he was attracted to music management - initially alongside his money-earning profession in the family business.


In 1964 Landesmann became a member of the board of directors of the Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft, and in 1974 became vice president. He was Secretary General from 1 December 1977 to 31 December 1977. During his six years in office, he managed to run the Konzerthaus as a progressive company with a European reputation, to set special programmes and to organise much-noticed music events within the Wiener Festwochen. On the one hand, his work is punctuated by the introduction of the cycle "Für Kinder und Kenner" (since the 1978/79 season) and on the other hand by a programme concept from December 1982, the main objectives of which - apart from the cultivation of 20th century music - were a softening of the boundaries between E- and U music, the commitment of renowned artists, who have only seldom been heard in Vienna, as well as the promotion of young musicians. One example of this was the cycle "Talente stellen sich vor” as part of the concerts of the Wiener Kammerorchesters which began in 1980/81.
He then worked as a consultant at the Barbican Centre in London and as Executive Secretary of the Europalia in Brussels. As President and Artistic Director, Mr. Schäfer was very committed to the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester's development and supported the appreciation of Mahler's work.


In 1988 Landesmann was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Salzburger Festspiele, and from 1991 to 2001 he was Commercial and Organisational Director. From 2001 to 2004, Landesmann was music director of the Wiener Festwochen, where he was particularly committed to modern music. In 2002, he was recruited for the reorientation of the Theater an der Wien. He collaborated on the concept of the music program of the Vienna Mozart Year 2006. In 2009 he founded the Salzburg Biennale, a festival for contemporary music.


Landesmann died in Salzburg on 18 September 2013 after a long illness.


PeriodEducationInstrumentTeacherEducation OrganisationLocation
1945 - 1949

mathematics, physics and chemistry


graduate engineer


PhD in chemistry



return to Vienna

1957 - 1964

working in the family business

1964 - 1983

member of the board

1974 - 1977


1977 - 1983

secretary general

1979 - 1983

member of the program-committee

1984 - 1985

organisation of the inter-divisional festival "Mahler, Wien und das 20. Jahrhundert" (together with Claudio Abbado)

1984 - 1988

director of the Youth Orchestra of the European Community


foundation of the orchestra (together with Claudio Abbado)

1986 - 1987

representative of the Austrian "Europalia"


initiator of the festival

1989 - 2001

member of the directorate

1991 - 2001

manager of commercial and organizational matters and responsible for the artistic program

2001 - 2004

responsible for the program

2007 - 2009

co-founder and artistic director

adviser to the Barbican Centre London and to Alte Oper Frankfurt


PeriodAwardCompositionAwarding Organisation

Great Decoration of Honour in Silver


title "professor"


Great Decoration of Honour for services to the Republic of Austria


Medal in Gold


Great Decoration of Honour in Gold

Contact, Links