Program 2018

Everything at a glance



Lahav Shani


Prodigiously gifted 27 year old Israeli conductor Lahav Shani’s conducting career was launched when he won first prize at the 2013 Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition in Bamberg.

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Julian Rachlin


Julian Rachlin is one of the most exciting and respected violinists of our time. In the first three decades of his career, he has established close relationships with many of the most prestigious conductors and orchestras.

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A Wiener Sängerknabe


Konzertchor Wien


Konzertchor Wien was founded in 2014 in order to perform large works of choral literature on artistically high level together with fully cast orchestras in appealing settings.

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Wiener Symphoniker

As Vienna’s cultural ambassador and concert orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker handles the lion’s share of symphonic activity that makes up the musical life of the Austrian capital. The orchestra’s activities centre on innovative projects that are associated with the purposeful cultivation of important Viennese musical traditions.

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Mag. Wolfgang Sobotka

Presidident of the National Council

Willi Mernyi

Chair of the Austrian Mauthausen Committee

Has been the honorary chair of the Austrian Mauthausen Committee since 2000 and, since 2011, the vice chair of the Camp Community Mauthausen as well as board member of the Documentation Centre of the Austrian Resistance. Mernyi is also a member of the board of the ORF Foundation. He has written publications on a range of topics, with a particular emphasis on political education (including the Handbook of Simulation Games, 2005, and “Our (?) America – Austro-American snapshots in context of the US Election 2012”) and communication strategies against right-wing extremism (Demystifying Demagogues, 2010, Far-Right Extremism: Symbols. Codes. Music. Laws, 2011, Stopping Right-wing Agitators – Audio CD 2013). In acknowledgement of his on-going engagement, Mernyi received a medal (Bundesehrenverdienstzeichen) from the Federal Government for services to tolerance and human rights as well as the Marietta and Friedrich Torberg Medal in 2014.

Katharina Stemberger


Born and raised in Vienna, she now splits her time between Vienna and London.

“Regardless of whether I’m in a play, filming a movie or doing my solo programmes, I’m always telling people a story – so I’d say I’m a storyteller”, she said about herself.

Her acting career has spanned light entertainment on television to the tragic heroine in on the stage.

Alongside her solo programme she also regularly ensures a full house at the English Theatre in Wien…

From 2013-2015 she was in the new production of Jedermann at the Salzburg Festival.

She is currently rehearsing for the “Museum of Dreams” at Schloss Ambras and is preparing for the summer production of “Diener zweier Herren”.

Katharina Stemberger is a professor at the private university of the City of Vienna.

Rudolf Gelbard

Concentration camp survivor

Rudolf Gelbard is a holocaust survivor. He is still active today as an eyewitness and freedom fighter. At only 12 years old, in October 1942 Rudolf Gelbard was deported with his parents to Theresienstadt due to his Jewish descent. In several testimonials, Rudolf Gelbard describes life in Theresienstadt: Most horrible were the continuous transports of many persons to the death camps. Rudolf Gelbard survived these trying years in Theresienstadt and was finally liberated in 1945. In all, some 15,000 children were deported to Theresienstadt, and only 200 of them survived.

Even today, Rudolf Gelbard remains committed to raising awareness about the Nazi crimes, he is also actively engaged for democracy, and he continues his active participation in demonstrations for human rights. Again and again, he serves as a speaker at schools and in various courses and symposia to relate his experiences in that time.

Fest der Freude 2016


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