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The violinist Rainer Küchl, who was born in 1950, is from Waidhofen an der Ybbs in Lower Austria. At the age of 11 he began studying violin, which he later continued, from 1964 to 1970, with Franz Samohyl at the Vienna Music Academy. He has been concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic and of the Vienna Staatsoper Orchestra since 1971; in 1972 he took on the same position with the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle. Ever since then Küchl has played in countless concerts in Austria and around the world under such conductors as Karl Böhm, Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, and Riccardo Muti, and he has performed as a soloist with other renowned ensembles. Georg Solti, for example, appointed him first concertmaster in the World Peace Orchestra, and in 1998 Seiji Ozawa engaged him for the opening celebrations of the Olympic Games in Nagano. Since his student days Küchl has been closely involved with chamber music. In 1973 he founded the Küchl Quartet, which is also known abroad as the Vienna Musikverein Quartet. Since 1976 this ensemble has offered its own series of quartet recitals in the Brahmssaal of the Vienna Musikverein. The Quartet has received such accolades as the Mozart Medal of the Vienna Mozart Society in 1978. Küchl is in addition the director of the Vienna Ring Ensemble, which is primarily involved with Vienna’s waltz tradition. Since 1982 Küchl has been teaching as a tenured professor at the Vienna University of Music; he additionally holds a guest professorship in Japan. In 1988 he was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art and, in 1994, the Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria. The Japanese City of Kawasaki named him Honorary Goodwill Ambassador, and in 2010 the Japanese government accorded him the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.
For four decades Rainer Küchl has been a regular LUCERNE FESTIVAL guest as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic.