Born: May 12, 1912 - Vienna, Austria
Died: March 29, 1987 - Vienna, Austria
The Austrian conductor, Felix Prohaska, was the sun of the Austrian composer Carl Prohaska. He received his primary music education at home with his father. Then he studied piano with Steuermann, and theory with Kornauth, Gál et al.
Felix Prohaska served as répétiteur at the Graz opera from 1936 to 1939, conducted opera in Duisburg from 1939 to 1941 and in Strasbourg from 1941 to 1943.
Following his early work of conducting, Felix Prohaska rehabilitated the Salzburg Festival and conducted for many years at the Vienna State Opera following World War II (1945-1955). He was Principal Conductor of the Frankfurt Opera from 1955-1961 before his appointment as director of the Frankfurt Hochschule für Musik. He again conducted at the
Vienna State Opera (1964-1967), and then at the opera of Hannover (1965-1974), and he also served as director of the Hochschule fur Musik there (1961-1975).
Felix Prohaska made many celebrated recordings for Vanguard Classics of J.S. Bach, Mozart, Schubert and Gustav Mahler. The soloists in his J.S. Bach's recordings were the leading performers at the Vienna State Opera after World War II; the members of the Bach Guild choir and orchestra were drawn from Vienna State Opera chorus and the Vienna Philharmonic. Together with Hermann Scherchen, who also drew upon Viennese forces for his Bachís recordings, Prohaska was kind of a pioneer in recordings of Bachís vocal works in the early 1950ís. In preparing the works for recording all efforts were made to insure a reading as close to Bach's intentions as possible. The chorus and the orchestra were held to the approximate size of Bachís own, and wherever possible, authentic instruments were used.