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At the general meeting of the Vienna Philharmonic on June 18, 2007, Eckart Schwarz-Schulz (cello) and Stefan Haimel (trumpet) were accepted as members of the Vienna Philharmonic.Eckart Schwarz-Schulz was born on July 25, 1972, in Fürstenfeldbruck (Upper Bavaria) and received his first cello lessons at the age of ten from Felix Seifert. Beginning in 1986 he studied at the Leopold Mozart Conservatory in Augsburg with Hartmuth Tröndle, and after receiving his "Matura" at the Humanistic Rhabanus Maurus Gymnasium in St. Ottilien in 1991, continued his studies at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich under the instruction of Horatiu Cenariu. From 1992 until 1995 he studied with Peter Wolf at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt, completing his diploma under the auspices of Antonio Meneses in 1999, while at the same time studying with Wolfgang Herzer in Vienna.
During his years of musical training,Eckart Schwarz-Schulz was a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the recipient of a stipend from the Bavarian Music Fund. He also belonged to the Orchestra Academy of the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Vienna. In 1998 he became the associate principal cellist in the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and in 2001 advanced to the position principal cellist. Among the solo concerts he played there were ones with Richard Ayres, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Darius Milhaud. He received invitations during this time as "Guest Leader" from the Hallé Orchestra Manchester and the Philharmonia Orchestra London. All of this was prior to his engagement with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra effective September 1, 2004. It goes without saying that Eckart Schwarz-Schulz also participates in chamber music. After having been a member of the Vindobona Piano Trio while he was in Ireland, he has played with the Seifert Quartet since 2005.Stefan Haimel, who was born on August 14, 1982 in Klagenfurt, received his first trumpet lessons while he was still in grade school from his father, Franz Haimel, who played trumpet in the Carinthian Symphony Orchestra. From 1991 until 1999 he was enrolled in the Landesmusikschule Klagenfurt under the tutelage of Herbert Wassermann. In the following three years he continued his study at the Kärtnerlandeskonservatorium with Gottfried Isopp. In 2001 he achieved his "Matura" at the Bundesrealgymnasium Lerchenfeld in Klagenfurt, enrolling one year after that as a trumpet major at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna under the instruction of our longtime first trumpeter, Josef Pomberger. After already having worked as a substitute for the Carinthian Symphony Orchestra, he gained to professional experience after his move to Vienna, substituting with the Orchestra of the Vienna Volksoper, the Lower Austrian Tonkünstlerorchester, the Vienna Symphony and with the Stage Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera.
In March of 2004, Stefan Haimel, who several times was a prize winner in the young persons competition "Prima la Musica", and was also featured as soloist with the Carinthian Symphony Orchestra and the Traismauer Chamber Orchestra, performed a successful audition for a position with the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Vienna. Before he could take up this engagement however, he auditioned successfully for the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, where he has been a member since September 2004.