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Prof. Reinhard Öhlberger
Twenty-five years ago the Austrian Mint, responsible for printing Austrian money, commenced with the production of a new type of coin. This gold coin entitled "Wiener Philharmoniker" went on from that time to become a legendary marketing success and an international investment opportunity. The original idea of the Austrian Mint (which since January 1, 1989, has been a subsidiary of the Austrian National Bank) was "that the Vienna Philharmonic gold coin would be a product known around the world. This coin has had a very positive effect upon the successful course of this enterprise's development. It is one of the most sought-after coinages in pure gold.
For this reason, a ceremony took place on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 12:00 o'clock in the Brahmssaal of the Vienna Musikverein to commemorate the 25th anniversary of this coin. The speakers for the event were the General Director of the Austrian Mint AG, Mag. Gerhard Starsich, who gave the welcoming address, followed by the Director of the Austrian National Bank, Prof. Dr. Ewald Nowotny and, the Chairman of the Vienna Philharmonic, Andreas Großbauer.
A brief look into the history of the economic statistics of the coin's success is edifying. Already by July 1990, one million "Wiener Philharmoniker" had been sold, and with accounting for 700,000 ounces (approximately 23 tons) held 225 bof the world market., placing it third behind Canada's "Maple Leaf" and the American "Eagle". An development followed which can only be characterized as extraordinary. In 1992, the year of celebrations marking the 150th Anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic, the Austrian Mint AG with its favorite gold coin reached a world market share of 39% and with that the first place.
The musical underpinnings for this festive occasion in the Brahmssaal were provided by two ensembles from the orchestra. The event opened with the "Festmusik" by Karl Rosner (an earlier Philharmonic member) performed by Gotthard Eder, Hans Peter Schuh and Gerhard Berndl (Stage Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera), trumpet; Johannes Ettlinger (Stage Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera) and Karl Jeitler, trombone; as well as Christoph Gigler, tuba. For its conclusion the Schubert Quintet, which is made up of Philharmonic members Kirill Kobantschenko, violin; Michael Strasser, viola; Wolfgang Härtel, cello; and Bartek Sikorski, contra-bass, along with Gottlieb Wallisch, piano, performed Franz Schubert's "Trout Quintet" in A major, op. post. 114, D 667.