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On June 24, 2003, at the general meeting of the Vienna Philharmonic, it was decided that Bartosz Sikorski (contrabass) and Clemens Horak (oboe) would be given membership in our association. We would like to introduce these two new members to you at this time.
Bartosz Sikorski was born on May 21, 1974, in Bytom, Poland, where he attended first the music preparatory school and then the musical high school, studying contrabass under the tutelage of Gerard Przybyla through 1993. He then continued his studies under Tadeusz Pelczar at the College of Music in Warsaw, remaining there until 1995. Beginning in 1996, he attended the Berlin College of Fine Arts, continuing his work under Michael Wolf, and obtaining a Diploma with Distinction in 2002. At the same time, between 1994 and 1996, he also attended the Orchestral Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and took lessons from Klaus Stoll, the principal contrabassist of that orchestra. Between 1997 and 1999, he attended the Orchestral Academy of the Staatskapelle Berlin, where he received instruction from principal contrabassist Walter Klier.
Numerous master classes, competitions, radio recordings and solo appearances augmented this well-rounded musical education, and Sikorski received valuable performance training in addition as a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra as principal contrabassist, as well as by substituting in various Polish orchestras and with the Berlin Philharmonic. In February 2002, he auditioned successfully and was given an engagement as contrabassist with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, and since that time has also joined with Georg Straka in a very unique ensemble, the contrabass quartet "Circus Bassissimus".
Clemens Horak, who was born in Vienna on November 29, 1969, was nine years old when he began his study of the recorder at the Vienna Conservatory of Music under Ernst Hölz. Beginning in 1982 he continued his studies at the Music High School, where Maria Kneihs was his teacher. In 1985, he changed from the recorder to the oboe, moving into the oboe class under Manfred Kautzky. Two important events in Horak's career took place in 1989. First, he graduated from the Musical High School, and only shortly thereafter received an engagement as first oboist with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. In the following years, besides his work with the symphony, and making many solo and chamber music appearances, he continued his studies at the Vienna College of Music, acquiring his diploma in 1994.
As a performer, Clemens Horak consistently distinguished himself not only as an orchestral soloist, but appeared in addition with various chamber groups, most notably as soloist with the Vienna Symphony, the "Ensemble Kontrapunkt", the Vienna College of Music Orchestra and many others. On September 1998, this well established artist rose to a new challenge by performing an outstanding audition and obtaining the position of principal oboist with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. Even before becoming an official member of the association, he appeared as soloist in concert with the Vienna Philharmonic on March 25, 2003. Together with Werner Hink, Tamás Varga and Harald Müller, he performed Joseph Haydn's Sinfonia concertante in B flat major, Hob. I:105, with Zubin Mehta conducting. This program was repeated on March 29, 2003, in Mumbai and on April 5, 2003, in Taipei.