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Benedikt Dinkhauser was born on December 15, 1978 in Innsbruck (Tirol), and grew up in Upper Austria. There he obtained his first musical education, studying piano at the Landesmusikschule in Wels, and adding the clarinet in 1993, studying with Reinhard Gitschthaler. From 1995 through 2002, he studied with Michael Werba at the Vienna Conservatory, and beginning in 2001 was also registered in the class of Stepan Turnovsky at the University of Music. During this time, he took additional master classes with Richard Galler, Pascal Gallois and Gustavo Nunez in Salzburg, Paris and Stuttgart.
Benedikt Dinkhauser graduated from the Music High School in Vienna in 1998, after having won the first prize at the Austrian State Competition "Prima la Musica" in the previous year. He subsequently appeared as soloist with the ensembles "Jugend Philharmonie" and "Instrumenti", and became a member of the "Jungen Bläserphilharmonie Wien," the "Wiener Jeunesse Orchester," and the "Attersee Institute Orchestra". He also played concerts with the "Wiener Bläserensemble", the "Corso Wien" and the "Wiener Kammerphilharmonie." In addition to all the above, Dinkhauser is a member of the "qWIENtett," which is composed of muscians from five different Viennese orchestras, and the "Ensemble Eis", which specializes in modern music. In April 2001, he was awarded a position with the Stage Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, and after a successful audition he became a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra on September 1, 2002.
Klaus Zauner, born into a family of hotel keepers in Bad Ischl on October 21, 1972, spent his childhood in Hallstatt, where he received his first instruction in percussion. Beginning in 1981, he attended the Landesmusikschule Bad Ischl, where he studied percussion, piano and saxophone. At the age of eleven, he won first place in a competition of the Upper Austrian State Music Schools. In 1987, he changed to the Music High School in Vienna, and studied percussion at the College of Music with Horst Berger and then later with Kurt Prihoda. In addition, he was registered at the Conservatory of Vienna in the percussion class of Ernst Theis between 1989 and 1996 and graduated from that institution with distinction. One year later he concluded his study at the College of Music with a master of arts with distinction, and was the recipient of a special prize of recognition from the Republic of Austria.
After having substituted in many various orchestras throughout Austria and abroad during his student years, Klaus Zauner intensified his professional endeavors and obtained his first permanent position as timpanist with the Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra in 1999, remaining in that position for three years. He left the Tonkünstler after a successful audition at the opera, and joined the percussion section of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra on September 1, 2002.
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