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Otto Nessizius was born on May 19, 1922 in Vienna, and had his first violin lessons at the age of 12. In 1937, he decided to undertake a career as a professional musician, promptly leaving the Realgymnasium as a result, and began first as a private student with Ernst Marawec before passing the entrance examinations in 1939, to be accepted into Professor Marawec’s class at the Academy for Music and Performing Arts. By the age of 18, he was a regular substitute with the State Opera Orchestra and in 1941, following a successful audition there, he received an official engagement in the 2nd violin section, believing he had achieved his professional goal. However, after only five weeks of service there, on September 1, 1941, the reality of the times intruded, and he was drafted into the German military and sent to the eastern front, where he was lightly wounded three times and detained in a Russian prisoner of war camp. In November of 1945, he was released from the camp in Kostrzyn and reported back for duty at the Vienna State Opera, which at the time was performimg at the Theatre an der Wien because the opera house on the Ringstrasse lay in ruins. On March 1, 1946, he received membership in the Vienna Philharmonic and remained an active member until his retirement on September 1, 1987.
From 1953 until 1958 Otto Nessizius, who since 1948 was also a member of the Wiener Hofmusikkapelle, played in the New Vienna String Quartet and appeared numerous times in concerts for the Austrian Society of Contemporary Music and the Composer's Federation. In 1971 he became involved in the Philharmonic administration and for 14 years held the difficult position of protocol secretary, which he carried out with an inimitable mix of strictness and humour, inspired by his unshakable belief in the oft quoted "Philharmonic Idea".