Hannes Richter

June 2013

Hannes Richter

FANCY FOOD IN NYC

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This year's Summer Fancy Food Show will be taking place from June 30 until July 2, 2013 at the Jacob K. Javits convention center in New York City. During North America’s largest specialty food and beverage event, about 2,400 exhibitors from over 80 different countries will present their innovative specialty food products such as confections, coffee, cheese, spices, snacks and many more.

In the framework of the Fancy Food Show, the Austrian Trade Commission office in New York will host a special cocktail reception themed “AUSTRIA. IN GOOD TASTE” at Café Katja in downtown Manhattan during which local Austrian products, brands and businesses will be presented to an exclusive audience of about 100 media representatives. As part of this evening event, the Austrian Press and Information Service will launch its brand-new website www.tasteofaustria.org, exclusively dedicated to the Austrian cuisine. Throughout the evening, guests will have the opportunity to mix and mingle while enjoying traditional Austrian delicacies as well as Austrian beer and wine.

The annual Fancy Food Shows in San Francisco and New York City, which are attended by major food buying channels as well as influential members of the trade and consumer press, bring together retailers, restaurant owners and distributors, who have the opportunity to network and discover new innovative products.

As a highlight of the annual sofi™ Award Ceremony, held by the Specialty Food Association, internationally acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson will deliver the keynote address and announce the winners of this year’s awards for the most innovative products. The Austrian producer Stöger Seed Oils has been named a finalist in two sofi™ Award categories this year.

Attendees of the show will have an opportunity to participate in educational seminars and tours, hosted by experts in the specialty food industry, during which they can learn about the basics of specialty food, social media marketing and other relevant topics. In addition, there will be showcases and cooking demos presented by celebrity chefs.


Lecture | The Cassandra Dilemma - What Mountain Plants Tell Us about Climate Change

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On June 24, 2013, the Embassy hosted a special lecture by Austrian Scientist of the Year, Professor Georg Grabherr, who spoke about the consequences of climate change and the establishment of the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA). Around 100 guests attended the event, which was followed by a wine and cheese reception.

About the lecture

The consequences of climate change, though regionally variable, are affecting natural and human habitats globally. Plants, animals, and microbes living close to their low temperature limits – as in mountainous regions from the tropics to the Arctic – offer a unique chance to monitor and study the effects of a warming climate on ecological systems at high elevations in different regions of the world. The “Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA)” began to exploit this opportunity 25 years ago by establishing more than 100 long-term observation sites, where permanent recording devices are fixed in selected summit areas to collect data. GLORIA’s research utilizes the results of naturally occurring processes in the mountains, where the impact of global warming can be measured apart from the direct impact of humans, and is based on three simple principles: cost-effectiveness, time savings, and scientific validity.

About the speaker

Georg Grabherr is the Deputy Director of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Mountain Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He previously served as department head and full professor of conservation biology, vegetation, and landscape ecology at the University of Vienna. In 1988, Grabherr cofounded GLORIA, the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments, an international research network of which he is the chairman. In 2012, the Austrian Club of Education and Science Journalists elected Grabherr as Austrian Scientist of the Year for his exceptional research and his ability and dedication to explain his research to the nonscientific public.

Learn more about GLORIA here: http://www.gloria.ac.at/


Contemporary Literature Series Zeitgeist

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From June 16 – 19, 2013, the “Theater of the Voiceless,” a festival and international symposium produced by Zeitgeist DC (Austrian Cultural Forum Washington, Goethe-Institut Washington, and Embassy of Switzerland) and the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, took place at different venues in Washington, D.C. The goal was to bring together leading playwrights and artists as well as  governmental, political and cultural experts from the U.S. and German-speaking countries.

The performances focused on topics such as global migration challenges, government-sponsored genocide, terrorism, and other man-made disasters, which were addressed in non-fiction plays by German, Swiss, and Austrian playwrights. Documentary theater possesses a unique ability to respond to issues of pressing political import and social justice, and provides a platform and voice for the dispossessed.

The International Symposium of Documentary Theater in Performance “Theater of the Voiceless” was held on Monday, June 17, at The Davis Performing Arts Center at Georgetown University and included a presentation by Ping Chong and Bruce Allardice as well as staged readings of Worst Case by Kathrin Röggla (Austria) and a small small world by Konradin Kunze and Sophia Stepf (Germany) with contributions from Abhishek Majumdar (India). The afternoon ended with a panel discussion featuring several of D.C.’s artistic directors and the European artists to discuss the research, creative process and staging of documentary plays.

The Festival of Documentary Theater featured performances of Hate Radio by Milo Rau and Eva-Maria Bertschy (Switzerland) with Jens Dietrich (Germany), a small, small world by Konradin Kunze and Sophia Stepf (Germany) with co-collaborator Abhishek Majumdar (India), and Worst Case by Kathrin Röggla (Austria). Worst Case, which is based on in-depth research about the societal effects of omnipresent threats of disaster in our high-tech world, was performed at the Austrian Embassy on the evening of June 18. The festival was concluded with a screening of Soil Sample Kazakhstan by Rimini Protokoll.


Concert | Michaela Rabitsch and Robert Pawlik

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On June 6, 2013, the Embassy hosted the Austrian jazz duo Michaela Rabitsch and Robert Pawlik. The duo has been in the music business for more than fifteen years and during that time has released four studio albums.

Michaela Rabitsch,  a singer, composer and one of Austria’s top female jazz trumpet player, is a graduate of the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz, Austria. She and her musical partner, composer and guitarist Robert Pawlik, who studied at the conservatory of Vienna and the American Institute of Music possess a versatile repertoire of songs influenced by jazz, blues, pop and Latin melodies.

They were the first Austrian band to be  invited to perform at The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, one of  the leading jazz festivals worldwide, sharing the stage there with  George Benson, McCoy Tyner, Regina Carter, Toots Thielemans and Jonathan  Butler.

Their setlist for the concert at the Embassy also included new songs from their 4th studio album titled Voyagers, which was inspired by their numerous concerts in Europe, Asia and Africa over the past few years.


Dinner at the Austrian Ambassador's Residence

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On June 2, 2013, a special dinner for AJC ACCESS members was hosted at the residence of Austrian Ambassador to the United States Hans Peter Manz as part of the annual conference AJC ACCESS Summit. AJC ACCESS is the American Jewish Committee's young professionals program. During the event, Hans Peter Manz engaged in conversations about Jewish-Austrian relations, Jewish Vienna today and Austria in general. Members of this year's ACCESS trip to Vienna had the opportunity to engage with alumni from last year's trip and listen to their experiences. While induldging in interesting conversations, the guests could enjoy exquisite Austrian delicacies as well as sample delicious Austrian wine.