Franz Hauk has multiple careers as an organist, choir director, educator, and musicologist. He has been prominent in the rediscovery of composer Simon Mayr and has recorded widely as both an organist and conductor.
Hauk was born in 1955 in Neuburg an der Donau in Germany's Bavaria region. He studied piano, organ, and church music in high school and went on to the Musikhochschule München and for further studies in Salzburg, Austria. He returned to Munich for a master's degree in 1981 and, after winning several awards, earned his doctorate in 1988 for a thesis on church music in that city in the early 19th century. He has continued to write on such topics as 19th century performance practice and the editing of manuscripts of that time for performance. Hauk began to play the organ at the Liebfrauenmünster Cathedral in the Munich suburb of Ingolstadt, founded an "Organ Matinees at 12" series there in 1990, and established other organ events, including the International Ingolstandt Organ Days, at other churches besides his own. He has held various positions at the cathedral, including choir director from 1995, and artistic director as of 2020. Hauk has toured both Europe and the U.S. as an organist. In 2003, he founded the Simon Mayr Chor (Simon Mayr Choir), dedicated to the music of that neglected German composer, and he continues to perform and record with that group.
Hauk is particularly notable for his vigorous recording career. Appearing as organist on a Leipzig Symphony Orchestra recording of symphonies by Guilmant and Fétis in 1996, he has since made various recordings as both an organist and choir director. Some of those were made with the Simon Mayr Chor, devoted to the music of Mayr, completely unperformed until Hauk's rediscoveries. Hauk has recorded for Carlton Classics, Guild, and Naxos, releasing as many as five albums in a single year. In 2020, he and the Simon Mayr Chor issued a recording of Mayr's Mass in E flat major. Hauk is on the faculty at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich.