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The violist Heinrich Koll, who was born in 1951 in Vienna, completed his training at the Music Academy of his native city. He initially studied violin with Edith Steinbauer and Franz Samohyl, but at the age of 21 he opted to play viola, receiving his degree with distinction three years later, in 1975. In that year he was engaged as principal violist of the Tonkünstler Orchestra; from 1976 to 1980 he held the same position with the Vienna Symphony before moving to the Vienna Staatsoper Orchestra, at the same time being named principal violist of the Vienna Philharmonic. Koll has concertized with his orchestra all over the world ever since, performing frequently in solo works as well. He considers Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major among his favorites and has performed this work for such occasions as the Salzburg Mozartwoche and the opening of the Mozart Year 1991 under the baton of Zubin Mehta in the Vienna Musik-verein. Another key work of his repertoire is Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote, which Koll has recorded together with the cellist Franz Bartolomey and the Vienna Philharmonic under André Previn and which he has performed under Mstislav Rostropovich and Seiji Ozawa. Since 1987 Heinrich Koll has played as a member of the Küchl Quartet, with whom he offers a chamber music cycle in Vienna’s Musikverein. He is additionally involved as a teacher at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and gives master classes at the Manhattan School of Music in New York as well as at the University of California in Los Angeles.
For more than 30 years Heinrich Koll has been a regular performer at LUCERNE FESTIVAL as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic.