„Fotografieren ist malen mit Licht” – hat man mich in der Fotoschule gelehrt.
Die Rückwand eines Gebäudes in Macomb. Viel Male bin ich da vorbeigefahren, ein absolut unattraktiver Platz. Und eines Tages, die Sonne war grad dabei unterzugehen, da hat eben diese untergehende Sonne dieses Wunder der Verwandlung vollzogen. Ich bin dann noch etliche Male gekommen und habe versucht, diese Phase der Verwandlung festzuhalten.
A rather ugly wall at the backside of a building in Macomb. And yet, passing it one late afternoon when the sun was about to set, it had changed in a way I had never expected. Coming back several times I tried to catch the moment when sunlight would transform this otherwise unattractive wall. It was absolutely breathtaking.
Camera: Fuji X-Pro1
Music was omnipresent. The sound of the piano, singing- it was part of life and normal as eating and breathing. So I could play the piano long before even going to school.
My first piano teacher was the organist of the church in the little village. She taught me how to explore the wonders of music. Music was magic and an adventure.
From 10 to 18 I had the best piano teacher I ever had. He was a quiet man with a huge background, which I was not aware back then of course. He let things grow slowly and taught me to musically feel the difference of various styles and how to bring this feeling to life at the piano. He did that in a way nobody else was ever able to do.
At the University I met some wonderful musicians from whom I learned everything which is necessary for making music in a professional way. To them music was the center of everything, which is the best a student can experience when learning.
For many years I worked with Hilde Langer Ruehl, a fabulous teacher. She taught me that musical knowledge is not only an advantage, but a must for a professional musician. And I learned to handle criticism. She was very outspoken, when she did not like what she heard, but always told me why and providing options for correcting which was wrong in her opinion. The best ever was though: She was never personal, which was the reason for me to work with her for such a long time.
Teaching at the University of Music (Lied) was the best job I could imagine. Working with students was a pleasure. Of course the musical adventure did not end with my retirement in 2015. The good thing about music is, that it is there for everybody and is not owned by anybody.
Recording for Radio and TV.
Concerts in various countries in Europe ( recitals and CD recording of Mendelssohn songs with W. Holzmair)
“Kuckucksruf” due to the end of WWII in Vienna and Berlin: A project including dance,song,reading and Solo Piano.
Masterclass “German Lied” as well as concerts (Lied, Solo Piano) in Japan.
Masterclasses and concerts at WIU, Macomb, USA in 2007-2010
Chamber music with members of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.
CD recording (Gramola) with Wilfried Gottwald, clarinet ( Vienna Symphony Orchestra): Poulenc Sonata and Jazz Variations by M. Garson
“Fleeing Hitler” – a L.I.F.E class – project with Marietta Dean ( mezzo soprano) in Macomb, 2012
Masterclass “German Lied” in September 2013 at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
My professional photographical career started in my mid-fifties. After 4 semesters at a private photo school in Vienna I earned a diploma and very soon got connected with a gallery in Vienna.
The gallery is located at the former house of Frederic Morton, a Jewish Austrian citizen, who had to flee the Nazi regime in 1939. He then moved to the United States, where he lived ’til his death in 2015. He was the author of many books and came back to Austria every year not only for lectures, but also to visit the gallery at his former home, in which his father’s metal factory was located as well.
After exhibiting my early photographical works, ordinary dolls telling stories about human life, I worked together with the gallery on several multimedia projects, combining photos, beamed on a wall with live piano music.
For the Project “Fleeing Hitler” I was allowed to photograph metal remnants from the former Morton factory. I combined these photos with photographs my dad had brought home from WWII in Russia, where he had served in the “German Wehrmacht” ( the German Army).
The musical component of this show was piano music by Ruth Schonthal, a composer, who – after having been forced out of Europe as well – lived in the United States till her death in 2006.
During Frederic Morton’s visit in 2010 the gallery organized a private show for him.
“Fleeing Hitler” was also the program of a LIFE class with Marietta Dean a few years later.
It soon turned out that Documentary Photography was the photographical genre which interested me the most.
Projects shown at the gallery:
“Facets of Vienna”
“Women. Fantasies”, with live music from R. Schumann and Ruth Schonthal
With “Danielmuehle”, a cultural center north of Vienna,I collaborated on a photographical project with piano playing.
In 2016 the “Quo Vadis”, a gallery in Vienna, presented my “Schubert- who?” project, which later became part of a LIFE class with Marietta Dean as well.
On the side, I also photographed the staff of a data company and provided photos for the online presence of a Bed &Breakfast in Austria.
In the US the “Inselhaus” in Macomb was the first to show some of my photos from Vienna.
Exhibition “Discovering Macomb” at the Art Center in Macomb 2019
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In the streets of Macomb years ago….
Erstaunlich – immer wieder. Amazing – again and again.