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At the Philharmonic general business meeting on August 5, 2009, in Salzburg, five musicians who had begun their service with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra on September 1, 2006, were granted membership in the Association of the Vienna Philharmonic. We would like to introduce them to you at this time.
Born on August 9, 1971, in Elbasan (Albania), Shkëlzen Doli grew up in the former Yugoslavia and at nine years of age received his first violin lessons in his hometown of Gjakove (Kosovo). Due to winning numerous prizes in regional competitions, he was invited to attend the Music School of Novi Sad, the most renowned institution of this kind in the former Yugoslavia. There he studied with the Hungarian violin instructors, Imre Jambor and Csaba Szima. When he was 17, he won first prize in the National Music Competition of Yugoslavia and consequently enrolled in the class of Ewgenia Tschugueva at the Music Academy of Novi Sad. Beginning in 1992, he continued his violin study in Vienna at the College of Music, taking lessons from Dora Schwarzberg, Michael Frischenschlager and Josef Hell.A short time later, he became a substitute for the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, and has now been a member of the second violin section for the past three years.
By taking part in various Philharmonic chamber music ensembles, such as the "Toyota Master Players", the "Vienna Virtuosen" or René Staar's "Ensemble Wiener Collage", Shkëlzen Doli successfully and fully established himself in Vienna's musical life. Solo and ensemble tours have taken him to numerous European countries and to North America, Africa, Israel and Japan. Just recently he has become a founding member of the newly formed chamber music ensemble, "The Philharmonics".*
Dominik Hellsberg was born in Vienna on April 10, 1982, and received his first violin instruction from his father, Clemens Hellsberg, at the age of six. He was enrolled in 1995 at the Oberschützen campus of what was at that time the College of Music in Graz, under the tutelage of his father's teacher, our former first violinist, Alfred Staar. In 1997, Dominik Hellsberg won the first "Ignaz Plezel Competition and consequently performed the Violin Concerto in C major of Haydn's student Ignaz Pleyel, with the Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra. Following the sudden death of Alfred Staar in April of 2000, he took lessons from Gerald Schubert at the University of Music in Vienna, as well as with Volkhard Steude. Beginning in 2002, he worked as a substitute for the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic In 2004 he held an academy position with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra before entering joining the 2nd violin section of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra in 2006.
Even during his time as a student, Dominik Hellsberg was very actively engaged in performing chamber music. He was one of the founders of the "Unquartett" and the "Coburg Quartet", belongs to the ensemble "Herbert Lippert and his Philharmonic Friends" and is a member of the "Ensemble Corso" directed by Alfons Egger. In addition, he has made solo appearances with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the MAV Orchestra Budapest, and the "Prager Collegium", as well as performing Brahms' Violin Concerto with the Academic Orchestra Association, upon the occasion of their one hundred year anniversary, in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein. *
Holger Groh, born on July 27, 1976 in Weiz, received his first violin instruction at the age of six from Franz Diethard at the Conservatory in Graz. In 1991 he continued his study with Alfred Staar in Oberschützen, changing instructors in 1998 to Rainer Küchl at the Vienna College of Music, and beginning in 1999 studied with Tibor Varga in Graz. Between 2000 and 2006 he served as first concertmaster of the Graz Symphony Orchestra, as well as being the assistant and personal advisor for their main conductor, Fabio Luisi. Between 2004 and 2008 he functioned as the artistic director of the Styrian Society of Fiends of Music. On February 15, 2006, along with Shkëlzen Doli and Dominik Hellsberg, he performed a successful audition for the second violin section of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, at which time all three vacant positions in that section were filled.
Holger Groh can already claim a successful career as a chamber musician. He is the first violinist of the "Vienna Piano Quintet", concertmaster of "Vienna Trumpet and Strings", as well as being a member of the "Vienna Virtuosen" and the "Steude Quartet". For the ORF, the Polish Radio and the Japanese CD-Label CAMERATA, he recorded the 2nd String Quartet by Nancy van de Vate (World Premiere), works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as well as the Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043, by Johann Sebastian Bach, with Dmitry Sitkovetsky as his partner. As a soloist he has performed with numerous orchestras, including the "Vienna Bach Solists" and the Graz Symphony, appearing with such conductors as Milan Horvat, Arturo Tamayo, and Karel Mark Chichon, among others.*
Thomas Hajek, who was born on July 18, 1974 in Mödling, studied violin from the time he was six years of age with Adolfine Schneider at the Josef Mattias Hauer Music School in Wiener Neustadt. In 1992, following his Matura from the BRG Bergdorf, he continued his studies in music education at the College of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, adding violin instrumental pedagogy in 1993. From 1994, he studied privately with Franz Samohyl (1912-1999), who was the doyen of Philharmonic instructors at that time. He became a member of the Jeunesse Orchestra in 1995 and remained in that capacity for the following three years. Between the time of receiving his first diploma in instrumental pedagogy (1998), which included an apprentice teaching post at the music school in Neulengbach, and his finishing his Master's degree in Instrumental Music Education (2003), he enrolled as a student of Jan Pospichal at the University of Music in Vienna, and after having serving as a substitute with the Vienna Symphony, received a position in the second violin section with the Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orcherstra on November 2002.
Thereafter Thomas Hajek broadened his multi-faceted education in an additional area of study. In the spring of 2005, he began viola lessons with Siegfried Führlinger, and in the fall enrolled in Hans Peter Ochsenhofer's class. In February of 2006, he played a successful audition for the viola section of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. Since this engagement he has become a member of various ensembles, such as the "Vienna Mozartisten", conducted by Hans Peter Ochsenhofer, or the group "PhiliTango" directed by Erich Schagerl.*
Jan Georg Leser
Jan Georg Leser was born on November 14, 1978, in Berlin and studied cello from 1984 until 1993 with Lothar Seidl. In 1993, he received his first string bass instruction from Frithjof Martin Grabner and was already a member of the German String Philharmonic Orchestra in 1994, and continued performing there for the next 6 years. At the same time, from 1995/96, he was active in the Youth Symphony Orchestra in Brandenburg and won the first prize, as well as a special prize at the 33rd national competition, "Jugend musiziert". In the following year, at an exceptionally early age, he was accepted as a preparatory student at Berlin's Hanns Eisler College of Music, and enrolled there in 1998 in the class of Frithjof Martin Grabner.
After a year of extra-curricular study in the area of software development, Jan Georg Leser resumed his study of string bass with Christoph Schmidt at the College of Music in Mannheim in the fall of 2000, and completed his extensive instrumental education with profound orchestra experience. He was a member of the festival ensemble of the "International Bach Academy", performed as a substitute with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, with the Stuttgart der International Bach Academy Orchester and received from the Munich Philharmonic a diploma as a scholarship holder at the Orchesteral Academy of the Bavarian Radio. Beginning in 2004, he studied with Alois Posch at the University of Music in Vienna and substituted in the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, joining the string bass section of that orchestra after a successful audition in 2006.