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Prof. Gabriel Madas
By this time his career as a professional musician had already begun, having been principal trombonist with the Czech Philharmonic in Prague since January 1, 1968. It was not only in the orchestra that he proved his talent. In 1973, he won the Bronze Medal at the music competition in Geneva; and in 1973 and 1974 he won the first prize at the National Competition in Kraslice. In 1974 he won one of the most prominent international competitions, that of the "Prager Frühling". It is therefore not surprising that shortly after his emigration he quickly received another engagement. On September 1, 1977, he became the first trombonist of the Bern Symphony Orchestra, only to leave this post after one season for a similar position with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra beginning on September 1, 1978. In 1981, he officially joined the Association of the Vienna Philharmonic and in that same year began teaching at the Vienna Conservatory, a position which he maintained until September 1, 2010. In addition to his artistic services on behalf of our orchestra, Professor Gabriel Madas has bequeathed us another special inheritance - his son, Oliver, who since 2006 has been a member of our percussion section. *
Prof. Peter Schmidl
In the decades that followed, Peter Schmidl distinguished himself as one of the outstanding personalities on the musical scene. The variety of his activities can only be outlined here in brief. Besides his orchestral career, he has been a well-known international soloist, receiving solo engagements with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra, the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, and the New Philharmonic Tokyo, among many others, thus performing under the baton of such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Karl Böhm, Christoph von Dohnýani, Riccardo Muti and André Previn. As a chamber musician he performed with the Vienna Octet and the Vienna Wind Soloists in major musical centers worldwide. As a pedagogue, Schmidl, who has been a teacher since 1967 and who was awarded the title of Professor in 1985, has influenced many generations of students, among which include four members of our orchestra today. Finally, Peter Schmidl, who has received many outstanding awards, is an exceptional manager. For many years he has worked with the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo and from 2001 through 2005 he was the business manager of our orchestra. In the year 2006, Professor Schmidl was named doyen of the Vienna State Opera. With Peter Schmidl, a towering figure of our orchestra enters retirement after 45 years of active service.