Hannes Richter

Dear Readers,

In this first edition of 2007 we are glad to present an interview with the Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck who has recently been appointed Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He speaks of the start of his career, his experiences as conductor of many orchestras around the globe and plans for his new assignment beginning September 2008.
Hannes Richter
Hannes Richter

New Austrian Government Inaugurated

On January 9, 2007, the Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) agreed on a new coalition government which was sworn in by Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer on January 11, 2007. Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer, head of the Social Democratic Party, is Austria’s new Chancellor, succeeding Dr. Wolfgang Schuessel. Chief priorities set by the new government for the 23rd legislative period include further improvement of Austria as a destination for business and the aim of full employment by the year 2010. Other goals are to improve the social and health system and to develop a strategy for combating poverty.
Hannes Richter
Hannes Richter

Austrian Ambassador Hosts 26th Annual Concert and Gala of Choral Arts Society of Washington

The Choral Arts Society of Washington is one of the most versatile and respected choral ensembles in the United States. Founded in 1965 by its current artistic director, Norman Scriber, its group of 200 voices has been performing over 41 years. In 1971, at the request of Leonard Bernstein, Mr. Scribner assembled a professional choir to perform in the world premiere of Mass for the opening of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Since that time, it performs there on a regular annual basis and tours internationally, appearing with the world’s leading orchestras. Its mission is to share the art of choral music through performance and to foster its promotion through education and outreach to the community and to students, such as to the D.C. public schools serving 1,000 elementary school children.
Hannes Richter
Hannes Richter

Austrian Becomes New Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Interview with Manfred Honeck

For the third time in the last seven years an Austrian has been honored by being invited to be conductor of a world renowned American orchestra. After the selection of Hans Graf as music director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra in 2000 and Franz Welser-Möst as the Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra in 2002, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recently announced the appointment of Manfred Honeck as its new Music Director. Manfred Honeck will begin his initial three-year contract in September 2008. In an interview he told AI about the beginnings of his career, his experiences as music director of many orchestras around the globe and his plans for his new assignment as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Orchestra.

Hannes Richter
Hannes Richter

Austrian Patriot and European Visionary

by Martin Eichtinger

On the death of Ambassador Friedrich Hoess: A model diplomat, a friend of the U.S., a builder of bridges in transatlantic relations.

Hannes Richter
Hannes Richter

From the Life of a Jewish Chaplain in the U.S. Armed Forces

An Interview with Rabbi David Lapp

Rabbi David Lapp was the Director of the Jewish Welfare Board’s (JWB) Jewish Chaplains Council, which endorses Jewish chaplains who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. Before serving with JWB (1982-2006), Rabbi Lapp was a Colonel in the U.S. Army (1957-1982). Born in Austria, he talked about his childhood in Vienna, his nearly half a century of service with the U.S. chaplaincy which brought him around the globe, and of his return visit to Vienna in 2000.

Hannes Richter
Hannes Richter

Jewish Welcome Service Vienna

The Jewish Welcome Service (JWS) recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Since its founding in 1980, the JWS has conducted a program for inviting Austrians expelled in 1938 for a return visit to the city where they and their families once lived. Through the work of one of the founders and current director, Dr. Leon Zelman, some 4,000 Austrian Jews (including Rabbi Lapp - see this issue), have participated in the program.
Hannes Richter
Hannes Richter

Austrian Summer Schools 2007

For those interested in pursuing summer studies in Austria, whether it be learning German or attending academic lectures on Europe viewed through different fields such as Law, Politics, History, Economics, Art, Music, etc., the following page provides links with useful information. Austria’s location in the heart of Europe makes it a perfect place to spend a summer while immersing yourself in scholarly activity. From German language courses, music and art programs, to university programming with full academic credit, Austrian summer schools offer the right program for every taste. Academic programs include the International Summer Program at the University of Vienna, now in its 59th year, and the University of New Orleans International Summer School at the Leopold Franzens-University in Innsbruck, which is open to all students of accredited U.S. universities and is the largest U.S. program of its kind.
Hannes Richter
Hannes Richter

Elliot Welles (1927 - 2006)

Born in Vienna as Kurt Sauerquell in 1927, Elliot Welles, Holocaust survivor who spent a relentless crusade to find fugitive Nazis, died in New York on November 28, 2006 at the age of 79. For more than two decades Welles directed the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League’s task force on NS war criminals until his retirement in 2003.
Hannes Richter
Hannes Richter

Oscar Klein (1930 - 2006)

Austrian-born (Graz) jazz legend, Oscar Klein, who recorded with Lionel Hampton and other great jazz musicians during a career that spanned four decades died on December 12, 2006. He was 76. Having fled Austria when the Nazis took power, he was autodidact and spoke seven languages.
Hannes Richter