Franz Konwitschny (August 14, 1901, Fulnek, Moravia – July 28, 1962, Belgrade) was a German conductor and violist.
He started his career on the viola, playing in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Wilhelm Furtwängler. In 1925, he moved to Vienna, where he played the viola with the Fitzner Quartet. He also began teaching at the Wiener Volkskonservatorium. He later became a conductor, joining the Stuttgart Opera in 1927. From 1949 until his death he was principal conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. From 1953 until 1955 he was also principal conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle and from 1955 onward he led the Berlin State Opera.
Like Furtwängler, Konwitschny used "expansive gestures" and had a "dislike of an exact beat." Konwitschny recorded a complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies.
He was given the nickname Kon-whisky because of his heavy drinking habits.
His son Peter Konwitschny is a leading opera director in Germany.
- Wagner, Tristan und Isolde, Ludwig Suthaus, Gottlob Frick, Margarete Bäumer, Karl Wolfram, Erna Westenberger – Franz Konwitschny, conductor: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, 21-23.10.1950 (Walhall Eternity Series WLCD 0118)
- Wagner, Tannhäuser, Hans Hopf, Gottlob Frick, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Grümmer – Franz Konwitschny, conductor: Staatskapelle Berlin. Chor der Berliner Staatsoper, Recorded in October 1960
- Wagner, Der Fliegende Hollander Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Marianne Schech, Rudolf Schock, Gottlob Frick, Fritz Wunderlich - Franz Konwitschny, conductor: Staatskapelle Berlin. Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin 1960