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Home > Orchestra : Orchestra


Das Philharmonische Tagebuch

Sat, 30. March 2013



Death of Wolfgang Schulz

Prof. Wolfgang Schulz

Already described as legendary while still playing in the orchestra, Wolfgang Schultz remained true to his calling even in the few months remaining to him after his retirement. Even in January of this year, he performed Mozart's Flute Concerto in G major in Japan and maintained an appointment calendar filled with projects which bear witness to his devotion to music, which extended even to the very last days of his life.

Wolfgang Schulz was born on February 26, 1946, in Linz, where beginning in 1956 he attended the Humanistic High School and commenced his study of the flute with Christiane Schwanberger and Willi Bauer (Music School Linz), subsequently continuing his education in concert flute at the Bruckner Conservatory. From 1960 - 1964 he studied concert flute with Hans Reznicek at the Vienna Music Academy and from 1967 participated regularly in master classes under Aurèle Nicolet in Basel and Freiburg. Wolfgang Schulz was at this time already a professional musician, having at the age of 18 become principal flutist with the orchestra of the Vienna Volksoper , where he remained for six seasons. On September 1, 1970, he moved to the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, becoming a member of the Vienna Philharmonic on March 1, 1973. Since 1979, he taught concert flute at the Vienna College of Music, known today as the University for Music and Performing Arts.

During the course of his major career, Wolfgang Schulz's brilliance was not only demonstrated in all of the flute solos of the operatic and symphonic literature, but he was also renowned worldwide as an international soloist. He made appearances at the most well known festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, Vienna Festival, Carinthian Summer, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Lucerne Festival, and Ravenna Festival and he served from 1996 in the position of artistic director of the classical music festival "Bonheur musical" in Lourmarin (France). His vast repertoire spanned from baroque to modern, whereby the works of contemporary Austrian composers always received his special attention. Helmut Eder, Friedrich Cerha, Ivàn Eröd, Erich Urbanner and Herbert Willi  all dedicated compositions to him, which he performed for the first time.

Wolfgang Schulz made 45 solo appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic in numerous European countries as well as in Asia and North America. Under the baton of Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Leopold Hager, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein and Marcello Viotti, he performed flute concertos by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jacques Ibert, Helmut Eder and Lorin Maazel, as well as the "Halil" by Leonard Bernstein and, along with the unforgettable Gerhart Hetzel, the Concerto for Violin and Flute by Bohuslav Martinů.

Needless to say, Wolfgang Schutz was from the very beginning of his career very active in chamber music, with his participation in the ensemble Wien-Berlin being particularly significant. His most important partners in duet recitals were Helmut Deutsch, Elisabeth Leonskaja, András Schiff and Stefan Vladar. Many of his recordings received national and international awards (Wiener Flötenuhr, Edison Prize, Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d'or), and his performances were distinguished with numerous well-earned awards at the state and national level.

On March 28, 2013, the 171st anniversary of the founding of the Vienna Philharmonic, Professor Wolfgang Schulz took his leave from this world. In the history of our organization, which presented him with the Honorary Ring in 1999, his artistic achievements represent a timeless milestone. His glowing enthusiasm for music will live on in the hearts of his musical colleagues and students, as well as in the memory of audiences throughout the world who had the privilege of experiencing him on the concert stage.

-- Dr. Clemens Hellsberg



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