Hannes Richter

Austrian Decorations

Hannes Richter
Ambassador Eva Nowotny and Baritone Jerome Barry

Baritone Jerome Barry

The Austrian Ambassador to the United States, Eva Nowotny, presented her country’s Decoration of Merit for Services to the Republic of Austria to the baritone Jerome Barry on January 30, 2004 at a concert at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C. marking Schubert’s 207th birthday.

“The composer,” said Mrs. Nowotny, “is probably the most Austrian and Viennese” of the so-called ‘Viennese Classical’ triumvirate, including Wolfgang A. Mozart and Joseph Haydn. The event marked the 20th season of Barry’s Embassy Series, which presents chamber music concerts in an ever-expanding number of Washington embassies.

Mr. Barry covered over a dozen of Schubert’s songs, lending heartfelt expression to every nuance of their texts – not surprising for someone fluent in many languages. And easy to do given Schubert’s mesmerizing habit of bringing conflicting emotions right up front: fusions of the sentimental with the ordinary, folklike melodiousness cast in sophisticated structural terms. Even a blend of fragility and terrifying power, as in Schubert’s miniature psychodrama, “The Erl King,” in which Barry – with decades of concertizing to his credit – excelled at the dramatic, presenting Death as mainly a spoken role.

Ambassador Randolph M. Bell and Ambassador Eva Nowotny

Ambassador Randolph M. Bell

On February 25, 2004 Ambassador Eva Nowotny presented Ambassador Randolph M. Bell with the Grand Decoration of Honour in Silver for Services to the Republic of Austria.

Ambassador Randolph M. Bell looks back at thirty years of a successful diplomatic career. He entered the Foreign Service in 1972. His early diplomatic assignments included postings in Frankfurt, Prague and Vienna. He completed Advanced East European Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute and attended the National Defense University. Ambassador Bell subsequently was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he worked on Soviet and East European political issues (1984-1985). In 1985-1988 he was posted in Prague and from 1989-1993 in Brussels. He then directed the Office of Russian and Eurasian Affairs in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1993-1996).

Ambassador Bell acquired excellent knowledge of American-European relations, serving as Director of the Office of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Benelux Affairs (1996-1999), and from 2000 to 2002 as Director of the Austrian, German and Swiss Office.

Ambassador Bell made a significant contribution during the sanctions of the fourteen EU partners in assuring that the U.S. Administration treated Austria fairly. In 2000 Ambassador Bell also worked closely with Treasury Deputy Secretary Eizenstat in the Austrian-American negotiations regarding the bilateral agreements on compensation for former World War II forced- and slave laborers. He also helped in 2001 to negotiate the restitution of Arianized property confiscated by the NS during that period. In his subsequent function as Director of the Holocaust Division in the State Department, his expertise in implementing both of these agreements was invaluable