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Flor studied the violin and clarinet before turning to conducting at the Music High School in Weimar. Subsequently he was a conducting pupil of Rolf Reuter at the Leipzig Conservatory, going on to study with Kurt Masur, Kurt Sanderling and Rafael Kubelík. Having been awarded the Mendelssohn Scholarship in 1979, Flor was subsequently a prizewinner at conducting competitions in Denmark and Poland. He was appointed chief conductor of the Suhl Philharmonic Orchestra in 1981, a post he held for three years before taking up the position of chief conductor of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, then the East German state’s equivalent of the West German Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

While leading this orchestra Flor quickly developed an international career, appearing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1985) and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras (1988), and also with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Dresden Staatskapelle. He held the post of principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra between 1991 and 1994, and has held similar posts with the Zürich Tonhalle (combined with the position of artistic adviser) from 1991 to 1996, with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (1999 to 2005), and with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi from the start of the 2003–2004 season. As a guest conductor Flor has appeared with most of the major European and North American orchestras, as well as at the opera houses of Brussels, Cologne, Dresden, Hamburg and Munich.

During the 1990s Flor made several well-received recordings for RCA, including the symphonies of Martinů with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, of Mendelssohn with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, and of Weber with the Philharmonia Orchestra. From his East German period, Berlin Classics have issued a number of recordings of unusual repertoire with Flor conducting, and he has also led a rare complete recording of Max Bruch’s oratorio Moses. Flor stands at the centre of the Austro-German conducting heritage, although this potential may not be fully realised until he accepts a permanent conducting appointment.

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Patmore (A–Z of Conductors, Naxos 8.558087–90).

Role: Conductor 
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