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Meet the Chairman of the Jury… Prof. Dr. Clemens Hellsberg

Meet the Chairman of the Jury… Prof. Dr. Clemens Hellsberg
Prof. Dr. Clemens Hellsberg (c) Wiener Philharmonic

Heading our Jury of highly accomplished musical experts is Prof Dr Clemens Hellsberg. He will be overseeing our jury of five to decide who will be the winner of Eurovision Young Musicians 2014.

Prof Hellsberg was born in Lintz, he plays in the first violin group as well as being manager of the Vienna Philharmonic, where alongside these engagements Prof Hellsberg is also Chairman of the board, a position he has held since 1997. In this role he: heads the orchestra's self-administration, negotiates with event organisers, conductors, choirs, soloists, producers as well as assisting in the Vienna Philharmonic’s premier events such as the Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn, the New Year’s Concert and various philanthropic events.

Prof. Hellsberg was inspired by his parents to pursue music as a career and learnt a lot about culture and arts from his music professor father. By the age of four and a half he was already playing violin and learnt piano at the age of seven, as well as the organ aged fifteen.

Prof. Hellsberg studied the violin in pursuit of a degree at the University of Vienna under Professor Eduard Melkus. He took lessons with Alfred Staar and studied Musicology and ancient history to Doctorate level. At the age of 24 Prof. Hellsberg joined the Vienna State Opera as part of the second violin group, joining the first violin group two years later after a successful audition. In 1980 he joined the Vienna Philharmonic where he performs today. Prof Hellsberg describes the historical traditions of the orchestra a follows: ‘In the individual sections of the orchestra, the teacher-pupil relationship can be traced back without any gaps to the year the Vienna Philharmonic was founded in 1842’.

Prof Hellsberg has become an academic authority on the Vienna Philharmonic documenting it in a 700 page volume which took three years to completed entitled Demokratie der Könige – die Geschichte der Wiener Philharmoniker (The Democracy of the Kings – The History of the Vienna Philharmonic). In the book he discusses the orchestra’s founding by Otto Nicolai as well as the rich history of one of Europe’s most recognisable orchestral institutions. He has also published numerous papers, given lectures and written for specialist magazines across Europe, the USA and Japan.

As well as performing with the aforementioned orchestras Prof Hellsberg is also: a regular soloist, a member of chamber ensembles and is a member of the Vienna Hoffmusikkapelle (court orchestra).

The Young Musicians will be judged by extensive criteria and we are sure that Prof Hellsberg’s experience will aid him well in this process.

As Prof Hellsberg says: ‘Art conveys an understanding of infinity. Art in general and music in particular truly knows no bounds’

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