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On December 6, 2008, in the Brahmsaal of the Musikverein, a commemorative ceremony was held to honour the 100th birthday of Herbert von Karajan and observe at the same time the 100th anniversary of the founding of the association of the Vienna Philharmonic. The speeches given by Dr. Clemens Hellsberg were interspersed musically by the Küchl Quartet, which performed the Scherzo from the String Quartet in A-Major by Franz Schmidt, who was a member of the Vienna Philharmonic from 1896 through 1911; the String Quartet in B-flat Major by the orchestra's founder, Otto Nicolai; as well as two movements from Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A Major, KV 581, for which the quartet was augmented by clarinettist Matthias Schorn of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. Between the two main themes of the event, an intermezzo was provided by the presentation of the violin "ex Viotti, ex Arnold Rosé, which was purchased by the Austrian National Bank under its former governor, Dr. Klaus Liebscher, and made available for the use of the Vienna Philharmonic. Volkhard Steude performed the Andante from the Sonata für Violin Solo in A Minor, BWV 1003, by Johann Sebastian Bach as well as the "Recitative and Scherzo-Caprice", op. 6, by Fritz Kreisler on this instrument which has its own rich history, and had once belonged to our past concert master, Arnold Rosé (1863-1946).
Also on December 6, 2008, the traditional Christmas celebration which is held once every two years for the retired members from our orchestra took place at the Imperial Hotel. Once again the Küchl Quartet provided the musical entertainment, performing the Dumka from the String Quartet in E-flat Major, op. 51 by Antonín Dvořák as well as the last movement from Mozart's "Dissonanzenquartett". -- Dr. Clemens Hellsberg