April 24, 2004 was one of the most memorable days for the museums located in the Vienna Hofburg. Not only was it the opening of a new museum complex featuring a permanent exhibit depicting the daily life of the Austrian Empress Elisabeth, better known as "Sisi," but also commemorating her 150th wedding anniversary with Franz Josef I, Emperor of Austria and Hungary.
Austria's New EU Commissioner
The future President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, has selected Austrian Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, to be in charge of the European Commission’s External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy. His decision came shortly after the Austrian National Assembly had confirmed Ferrero-Waldner’s nomination on August 11th by the Austrian government. Her nomination had been supported by the governing parties, the ÖVP and the FPÖ.
Insights into Security
Dr. Ernst Strasser, Austrian Federal Minister of the Interior, visited the U.S. for the forth time since in office. He intended to gain greater insight into America's most recent security measures, as well as to reinforce the concerted efforts made on the part of Austria in fighting terrorism, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
Austrian Fellow at the Lilly Library
"Clear, silently serving the word and the truth" - this quotation from Stefan Zweig was the focus of Gloria Kaiser’s research during her Fellowship at the Lilly Library of Indiana University, Bloomington. For more than ten years, during her winter residence in Brazil, Gloria Kaiser has devoted much of her research and writing to those works of Stefan Zweig which were written in exile.
Thomas Klestil, A Tribute
The death of Austrian Federal President Thomas Klestil on July 6, 2004 was unexpected. He died in office, two days before the end of his second, six-year term. Voices worldwide have expressed their grief over the loss of a statesman with extraordinary capabilities as a mediator. Dr. Klestil was held in high esteem for his role as an advocate and supporter of European unity and for his special commitment to the integration of Eastern European states into the European Union.
Heinz Fischer is one of the most experienced social democratic politicians. He is considered calm, deliberate and predictable. At the age of 65, Heinz Fischer was sworn in as the eighth Austrian Federal President during a solemn ceremony dominated by the mourning for Dr. Thomas Klestil. Dr. Fischer assumed his office in the Hofburg on July 8, 2004 and will head the country for the next six years.
Vienna’s Diplomatic Academy
Vienna's Diplomatic Academy has been noted for its wealth of diversification. Founded as the "Oriental Academy," its mission was to train emissaries in so-called "oriental" culture, then unknown to other countries. Over the centuries, the challenges of future diplomats have changed remarkably, particularly since the fall of Communism. The Academy has stressed the recognition of political trends and the ability to respond quickly to them.
Bösendorfer Conquers U.S. Market
Wilhelm Backhaus once said: "I see in Bösendorfer much more than simply a magnificent piano - for me it represents the ideal embodiment of Viennese musical culture. It is hardly a coincidence that such a piano that is so irresistibly attractive to all heroes of music since time immemorial was born in a city such as this." This is only one of the many reasons why pianists throughout the world prefer a Bösendorfer grand piano and refer to it as the "Rolls Royce of Pianos." It is known for its "extraordinary quality of sound," or "its soul that differs from other instruments," as well as for the firm's long tradition of quality.
The German Language
A study conducted by the AG International Medium Assistance (IMH) in Switzerland has revealed that the number of German publications published outside German-speaking countries has increased in the last few years. There are about 3,100 newspapers, magazines and newsletters published abroad in German. Among the new German publications is the Polen-Rundschau created by German and Polish journalists in Warsaw. Some new newspapers, such as the Neuseeland News, can be bought at newsstands in railway stations and airports.
Kurt Haller (1928 - 2004)
Kurt Haller, retired Professor of Physics at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conneticut died on May 5, 2004. He was born in Vienna and fled in 1938 at the age of ten, after the Nazis seized power. He settled and studied in New York City, receiving his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics in 1958. After two university postings, he became a member of the physics department at the University of Connecticut where he spent the next 40 years in fundamental research of Theoretical Particle Physics.
Claus Josef Riedel (1925-2004)
Claus Josef Riedel, the former president of Riedel Crystal was one of the first in his age-old craft to realize that the design of a wineglass could alter the perception of how its contents tasted, died in Genoa, Italy, at the age of 79. A ninth generation glassmaker, Mr. Riedel was president of the world-renowned Austrian family company from 1957 to 1994. After having spent 16 years in studying the physics of wine delivery to the mouth and taste buds and experimenting with different glass configurations, Riedel came to an important result.