From the start of his career, Wolfgang Harrer has wanted to pass his knowledge and experience as a bass player and conductor on to the next generation of musicians.
Double bass: Wolfgang Harrer was twenty six years old when Ludwig Streicher discovered his talent for teaching and hired Wolfgang as his teaching assistant at the Universität für Musik, and he started working as soon as he had received his diploma.
In October 1979, Wolfgang started teaching alongside the most famous double bass player, Ludwig Streicher, who granted him complete responsibility for the teaching of many of his students. They taught together for seventeen years.
From 1996 to 2019 he took on a professorship for double bass at the University of Music Saarland, and his aim has been for his students to reach the highest level of proficiency on the instrument and so be equally qualified to play as soloists, chamber musicians or orchestra musicians.
Since 2019 he teaches at the Franz Schubert Conservatory in Vienna.
Musicians who studied with him play with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra in Japan, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, the National Symphony Orchestra Taipei in Taiwan, the Klangforum Wien, the Mannheim Chamber Orchestra and other top orchestras around the world.
Conducting: Working as an orchestra musician, yet being a qualified conductor in his own right, he had daily exposure to the frequent communication and technical problems which can and do arise between conductors and orchestra musicians. This experience inspired him to offer conducting courses.
In 1991 he founded the “Austrian-Hungarian Masterclasses for Music,” and through this was able to offer young conductors lessons and competitions through which to improve their skills. Combining a course with a competition was a unique concept and some eighty students took advantage of this opportunity.
His goals in teaching conducting are profound and interdisciplinary knowledge, unimpeachable and relaxed technical precision and clear communication with the musicians and singers.