Festival & Artists ยท Swiss Alps Classics


Clemens Hellsberg, b. 1952, began taking violin lessons from his father Eugen Hellsberg at the age of four. In 1971, he commenced his studies in musicology and ancient history at the University of Vienna, where he received his doctorate in 1980. During this time, he continued to study violin at the Vienna Academy of Music under Eduard Melkus and then Alfred Staar.

In 1976, he had already become a member of the second violins in the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, and after another successful audition he moved to the first violin section in 1978. In 1980, he became a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and head of the orchestra's historical archive. From 1990 to 1993 and 1996/97, he was vice-chairman of the Vienna Philharmonic before being elected to the board in 1997. He held this position until 2014.

Hellsberg also made his mark as a book author. The volume "Democracy of Kings. The History of the Vienna Philharmonic" (1992) is a standard work that has also appeared in French and Japanese translations. Among the accolades he has received are the Order of St. Gregory, the Ring of Honour of the Vienna Philharmonic, the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art, the Grand Officer Cross of the Order of Merit pro Merito Melitensi, the Order of the Rising Sun with Neck Ribbon, Golden Rays (Japan), the title of Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres, the Festival Ruby Pin (Salzburg) and the Marietta and Friedrich Torberg Medal of the Jewish Community of Vienna.

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