September 9, 2012

Ceremony for the Award of the Friedrich Torberg Medal

© Terry Linke

On May 29, 2012, in the Gustav Mahler Hall of the Vienna State Opera, the Jewish Community of Vienna (Israelitische Kultusgemeinde) held an ceremony to present the Marietta und Friedrich Torberg Medal to Professor DDr. Wolfgang Schütz, the rector of the Vienna University of Medicine, and to Philharmonic Chairman Dr. Clemens Hellsberg.  This first award presented to a member of the Vienna Philharmonic by the Jewish Community of Vienna was granted "on the basis of the initiative in dealing with the NS past [of  the orchestra] and the resolute manner in which you have addressed these issues at events, symposiums and lectures.

The musical backdrop of the evenings celebration, which was opened by Vienna State Opera Director Dominique Meyer and Oskar Deutsch, the President of the Jewish Community of Vienna and moderated by Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz, was provided by the Ensemble "PhiliTango" (Norbert Taubl, Erich Schagerl, Thomas Hajek, Stefan Gartmayer, Wolfgang Gürtler and Professor Dr. Klaus Laczika, piano). They played arrangements of the traditional klezmer melodies "Kale Bazetsn" and "A Hora mit Branfn". Dieter Flury performed "Meditation sur la Douleur Humain" for solo flute from "Chants de Nectaire" by Charles Koechlin (1867-1950) and Clemens, Dominik and Benedikt Hellsberg (Violoncello, class of Cäcilie Ottensamer), along with Klaus Laczika, performed the Andante from Johann Sebastian Bachs Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043. The laudatory addresses were given by Professor Dr. Arnold Pollak and Zubin Mehta, an honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic. 

Acceptance Speech of Dr. Clemens Hellsberg at the presentation of the Marietta and Friedrich Torberg Medal