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On the occasion of his 10 years as director of the Vienna State Opera, the Vienna Philharmonic, in its meeting of April 22, 2002, voted to bestow the Franz Schalk Gold Medal on Ioan Holender. The determining factors in this decision were Holender's accomplishments in maintaining the high stature of the institution of the opera in the eye of the public, and his acknowledgement of the motto "Achtet mir auf meine Philharmoniker!", which is inscribed on the medal created on the initiative of the former Philharmonic chairman Dip. Ing. Otto Strasser in 1963 to commemorate the 100th birthday of Franz Schalk. Schalk, himself director of the Vienna State Opera from 1918 to 1929, was of great assistance to the orchestra in the economically perilous times following the collapse of the Austrian monarchy. The presentation of the Franz Schalk Gold Medal took place on June 16, 2002, at the Vienna State Opera, with Musical Director Seiji Ozawa and State Secretary of the Arts Franz Morak in attendance.ender
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