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On September 1, 2011, two longstanding members of our orchestra entered into retirement.
Herbert Linke, who was born on March 31, 1945 in Pressbaum, was inspired to learn an instrument by his grandfather, the director of the Orchestra Association of Pressbaum, and at the age of seven years received his first violin lessons. Soon his musical talent was recognized by our long-time oboist, Dr. Hans Hadamowksy (1906-1986), who persuaded him to register for the entrance audition for the Vienna Music Academy. From 1959 - 1964, he studied in the class of the legendary Franz Samohyl (1912-1999), our former first violist and the teacher of some thirty later Philharmonic musicians. In 1963, Herbert Linke received a contract with the Junior Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera; in 1965, he moved for a few months to be a first violinist at the Volksoper; and on January 1, 1966, following a successful audition, he became a member of the first violin section of the Vienna State Opera. The road to becoming a member of the association of the Vienna Philharmonic was more difficult. The enlargement of the opera orchestra which had taken place during Herbert von Karajan's tenure as opera director was for the longest time not refected in the membership of the association of the Philharmonic. Only in 1972 did the plenum raise the prevailing limit on membership from 120 to 140, allowing Herbert Linke, along with seventeen other musicians of the opera orchestra to become full members of the Vienna Philharmonic on March 1, 1973.
Before going into retirement, Herbert Linke, who was awarded the Honorary Ring of the Vienna Philharmonic and received the honorary title of professor in 2005, was the last Philharmonic member who had been engaged in the Karajan era and also the last active member who was born before the end of World War II. The change in generations which is manifested in the biography of Herbert Linke, is also symbolic of his contribution within our organization. With the interest which Herbert Linke consistently displayed for interpersonal relationships and emotional difficulties and with his candor and readiness to help others, he contributed to mutual understanding and provided an invaluable service to our collective, for which we are all indebted to him with enduring gratitude*
Jörgen Fog was born on September 2, 1946 in Copenhagen and received his first cello lessons at the age of eleven. Beginning in 1962 he studied at the Royal Danish Music Conservatory with Erling Blöndal Bengstsson, completing his examinations with distinction in 1968. In the same year he took part in an exchange concert in Vienna and took a cello course with André Navarra in Siena. Although he received an engagement with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1969, he decided to continue his education by inscribing in cello performance at the College of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna in 1970 with Vladimir Orloff as well as in chamber music (string quartet) with Alfred Staar. In 1971, he became a member of the Odense Symphony Orchestra, but one year later he returned permanently to Vienna: following a successful audition he received an engagement with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra as of September 1, 1972, and three years later joined the association of the Vienna Philharmonic.
During the entire career as an orchestra musician, Jörgen Fog - who also holds the title of professor, and has been awarded the Honorary Medal for Service to the Republic of Austria, the Gold Medal of Service to the Province of Salzburg and the Honorary Ring of the Vienna Philharmonic - has intensively dedicated himself to chamber music. He was a member of the Philharmonia Quintet with Wolfgang Poduschka (1972), the "Seifert-Quartett (1973) and formed the Perchtoldsdorf Piano Trio along with his later wife, Yoko Urata, and Christian Zalodek (a second violinist in our orchestra who died at the age of 49 in 1992, after having served as vice-chairman and players committee chairman of the State Opera Orchestra). This group won the first prize in 1974 at the International Chamber Music Competition in Colmar. Between 1982 and 1986, Jörgen Fog belonged to the Vienna String Soloists, was a member of the "Ensemble 5 Vienna", as well as the Vienna Piano Quartet, performing numerous concerts in Austria, Denmark and Japan.