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"To a considerable degree, the success of the concert as a whole stemmed from the clear, engaged leadership of conductor Hirzer, whose evident musical talents and leadership abilities were apparent in all the works presented. As on other occasions, Hirzer showed himself to be a conductor with wide-ranging sympathies, able to deal with complex modern works, but also to engage the established repertory with genuine understanding." -Calgary Herald

"Mr. Hirzer brought a combination of detailed accuracy and intense musical feeling to the work [Mr. Tambourine Man], resulting in an absolutely marvelous performance." - John Corigliano

"Special mention needs to be made of conductor Karl Hirzer, for whom this [Unsuk Chin's Graffiti] was a tremendous challenge, especially in matters of rhythm. That he could manage such a task at all was a demonstration of his skill as a conductor and ability to handle the most difficult music. This point was recognized by the players themselves, who showed their warm appreciation for his leadership." - Calgary Herald

"The Szczecin Philharmonic was conducted by Karl Hirzer, a 29-year old Canadian musician recognized by critics as a rising star in the world of conducting." - Radio Szczecin

"The performances of [Mozart] overtures and arias that Hirzer led were the work of a thoroughly cultivated musician who knows his scores, has interesting musical ideas and can convey them to an orchestra. Steady competence, leavened here and there with sparkle were the hallmarks of this very fine, much-enjoyed concert." - Calgary Herald 


Canadian musician Karl Hirzer is a conductor, pianist and composer from New Westminster, British Columbia. He has held the position of Resident, then Associate Conductor with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra since 2016. Active internationally, Hirzer has led performances with ensembles such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Sczcecin Philharmonic, Symphony Nova Scotia, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Gstaad Festival Orchestra, Orchestra Senzaspine and the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana. He works regularly with new music titans Land’s End Ensemble, having collaborated on a number of critically acclaimed commercial recordings.

Mr. Hirzer has previously acted as Assistant Conductor for the National Academy Orchestra of Canada and the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble, as well as Assistant Chorus Master of the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus. A steadfast educator, Hirzer was a faculty member at the 22nd Morningside Music Bridge program in Warsaw.

A diverse musician and collaborator, he has performed with numerous renowned soloists including Evelyn Glennie, Chris Botti, Agata Szymczewska, Jonathan Crow and Owen Pallett. Trained as a pianist, Hirzer holds bachelor’s (University of Victoria) and master’s (McGill University) degrees in performance, as well as an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto diploma, obtained at age seventeen.