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Professor Klaus Peisteiner
Professor Klaus Peisteiner, who passed away unexpectedly in his Viennese apartment on September 24, 2011, was born in Kirchschlag (Lower Austria) on December 12, 1935. He received instruction in violin, piano and organ and received his diploma from the Teacher's High School in Wiener Neustadt in 1955. He continued with his musical and pedagogical studies at the Vienna Music Academy, studying music education and enrolling in the violin class of Franz Samohyl. After receiving his degree with distinction in 1958 he completed the study of the viola, also with Franz Samohyl, in 1961. He had already become principal violist with the Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra in 1960 and changed to the same position with the Vienna Symphony in 1962. After another successful audition, he became a violist with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra on January 1, 1964, advancing to section leader soon thereafter. He became a member of the Vienna Philharmonic on September 1, 1966, where he remained until his retirement on September 1, 2003. Beginning in 1990, he was also a member of the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle.
Aside from his orchestral career, Klaus Peisteiner, who has been awarded the professional title of Professor, the Silver Medal of Service to the Republic of Austria, and the Gold Medal of Service to the Province of Salzburg, was also a successful chamber musician. For decades he belonged to the Vienna String Quartet, which he co-founded in 1964, performing concerts for the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna, at prominent Austrian Festivals (Salzburg, Bregenz, Carinthian Summer), as well as on numerous foreign tours and award-winning recordings, including the recording of the complete string quartets of Franz Schubert. In 1987, he embarked on another chamber music endeavor by joining the Vienna Octet. Even in retirement, Klaus Peisteiner remained close to the Vienna Philharmonic, contributing not only his artistic ability but also his qualities as a human being.