A Concert at the Austrian Academy of Sciences

The concert marked Croatia’s EU anniversary, Pejačević’s centenary and Matoš’s 150th birthday

June 11th, 2024
Yevheniia Symakova, News from Berlin
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On January 4, 2024, a well-attended event at the Austrian Academy of Sciences highlighted important milestones and recognized notable cultural figures. This occasion was a collaborative effort between the Croatian Embassy and the Exilarte Center at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, showcasing both historical and contemporary cultural connections.

The concert had several commemorative purposes. It marked Croatia’s ten years in the European Union, honored the 100th anniversary of Dora Pejačević’s death and anticipated the 150th anniversary of both Arnold Schönberg and Karl Kraus in 2024. Additionally, it recognized Croatia’s chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), highlighting the cultural and historical contexts shared by the involved organizations.

Professor Dr. Gerold Gruber, founder of the Exilarte Center and the evening’s moderator, discussed the artistic connections between Pejačević, Schönberg and Kraus. Ambassador Glunčić, in his address, spoke about European values and the shared cultural heritage, noting Pejačević’s important role in it.

The musical performance was a central part of the evening. The Motus Quartet, accompanied by pianist David Hausknecht and soprano Josipa Bainac, presented a varied program. They performed Schönberg’s String Quartet in D major and Piano Quintet in B minor, as well as Pejačević’s songs inspired by the works of Kraus and Rilke. The concert also included a composition by Akos Banlaky based on the works of A.G. Matoš.

The audience’s standing ovation following the quintet’s performance reflected their appreciation for the artists’ talent and Pejačević’s music, which was new to many attendees at this event.

The concert was attended by approximately 300 guests from various sectors, including diplomacy, culture and politics, as well as representatives from the Croatian and Burgenland Croatian communities. Notable attendees included Mag. Ulrike Sych, Rector of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Prof. Dr. Johannes Meissl, Vice-Rector for International Affairs and Arts, and members of the Pejačević family.

This event was supported by several organizations, including the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, the cultural association Matica hrvatska in Vienna, the Austrian-Croatian Society, the Croatian Economic Agency in Burgenland, the Tonwerk-Forum for New Art and the piano house A. Förstl.

Overall, the concert not only celebrated notable anniversaries but also strengthened cultural ties and underscored the importance of shared heritage in fostering international relationships.


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