4th German Orchestra Competition 1996 - DOW

Ensemble - exchange with "Cottbuser Gitarrenensemble" - radiorecordings

Concert - tours

Ukraine - Crimea 1998

Ukraine - Crimea 1999

4th German Orchestra Competition - Gera 1996

Pre-announcement by the German music-council: "

The 4th German Orchestra Competition will run from the 12th through 19th of May 1996 in Gera. 100 orchestras and instrumental-ensembles are expected with 6000 musicians from all over Germany. Additionally players come from other European countries, who participateat at the ,European Competition for Chamber-Orchestras " .

The decision in the category " guitar-ensembles " in the 4. German Orchestra-Competition 1996 in Gera is done.

The guitar-ensemble " GuitArt " Heidelberg (conducter: Helmut Oesterreich)
has reached 23,8 points and the jury gave the predicate


The German orchestra-competition was started 1984 andin the meantime has taken place in Würzburg
(1986), Berlin (1988) and Goslar (1992) . It is a competition for non-professional orchestras and ensembles, that have qualified in pre-competitions in each German state. Its goal is to offer a forum for comparing with others and to communicate with them in terms of musical performance. It also is meant to point out and to stimulate the high quality of the amateur music-scene in Germany.


Competition - repertoire:

Moritz, Landgraf von Hessen (1572-1637) Intrada
Emmanuel Adriaenssen (1545-1604) Fantasia seconda
William Byrd (1543-1623) Coranto
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) Ases Tod
  Anitras Tanz
Steve Reich (*1939) Electric Counterpoint - III. mouvem.


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Exchange of the prizewinning - guitarensembles

of the 4. German Orchestracompetition in Gera ’96

"GuitArt" Heidelberg - Cottbuser Gitarrenensemble

It had begun in the evening after the prizewinner-concert in Gera when the two leaders of the ensembles, Hans Hütten and Helmut Oesterreich sat together with a beer and started a conversation. It didn't last long until the idea was born to plan some common activities - and it remained not only with this idea but it turned into a concrete exchange-project. On invitation of the Cottbuser, the Heidelberg ensemble traveled end of May to the east of the Germany. The 14 players had private accomodation with the hospitable and friendly members of the local ensemble. Immediately an extremely cordial
relationship originated among each other and some real friendship arose. After an intensive rehearse-day then took place :

Commen Concert of the Prizewinning Ensembles, thus the header of the press-article of the next day.

The beginning of the concert was impressive with the " Sonata pian e forte " of Giovanni Gabrieli played by both ensembles together. A wide range of colours originated through the use of oktave - and bassguitars. The performance convinced as an authentic possibility of interpretation. After that common playing the two ensembles introduced themselves alternate with own contributions. The arrangement of Hans Hütten of the minuet from the string-quartet F-Dur, op 8 from Haydn is particularly to be mentioned . The climax of the concert then was the aleatoric composition "Alambic" of the composer Peter Michael Braun. The graphic score through inclusion of theatrical elements turned also for public and interpreters into an outstanding experience.

Apart from the performances the players had enough possibilities to communicate with each other. A common barge-trip through the reservation in the Spree-forest rounded off the project successfully in all matters. Especially this barge-trip had been very beatiful beautiful experience with wonderful weather: for several hours everybody relaxed lazily in the boat that was driven slowly on the numerous canals through the forest. Of course also a guitar was passed around and everyone played something.
The counter-visit in Heidelberg took place middle of June then. Also here, the two ensembles played in a concert and the same day some pieces of the repertoire were recorded for the SWR - radiostation. This was for most of the young guitarists their first and of course very exciting recording-experience. An obligatory sightseeing of the famous Heidelberger Schloss and a grill-party in the evening formed the conclusion of the whole undertaking, that brought so much fun, musical and human enrichment for everybody, that they agreed to stay in touch also in the future.

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The Ensemble "GuitArt" at the 4. International Guitarfestival '98 of Crimea

a fascinating concert - tour

A three-month preparation had preceded this trip with several long rehearse-Saturdays and a stay in a youthhostle. At 23rd of May finally everything was ready , a Lufthansa-airplane brought us in only two hours to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital from where we continued with an 18 - hour train trip after Simferopol on the Crimea . There the two guitarists Gennadi
Piltsch and Viktor Wichrow already expected us. They are the organizers of the 4. International guitar-festivals of Crimea. They told us that we should play not less than four times in different concerts of the festival . This was of course very honorably for us, however also shows which tackling financial difficulties the festival - organizers had to fight with. Everything, the advertisement, the posters the printed programs and the payment for the hall had to be paid by the admission-fee. Famous foreign interpreters could not be invited, and probably was the reason came that we, playing for free, did contribute the main "international" part of the entire festival.


H. Oesterreich - Gennadij Piltsch - Victor Vichrow

Normally, we shared the program with contributions of the duet Piltsch / Wichrow and with Viktor Wichrow as soloists. He is a remarkable virtuoso playing the most difficult works of the solo-literature. ( Grand Solo, Grande ouverture, Bachs Chaconne, Tarregas Gran Jota, Invocation et danse of Rodrigo) He is a 24 - year guitarist, for who one wishes, he could be known also outside his country. The duet-contributions suffered a little from the imbalance of the two players - what however did not keep off the always very large public, to celebrate the duo enthusiastically.

In the opening concert, that was recorded by several TV - stations, GuitArt played the first part of the program starting with ancient music: Intrada of Moritz Landgraf von Hessen, Gabrieli: Sonata pian e forte and three pieces from the opera The Fairy Queen of Henry Purcells. The composition of the 15 year old member of GuitArt Jonas Rist, a polyphonic Fughetta perfectly fit into that part of the program. As a contrast followed the contemporary Edition of German composer Werner Heider, a graphical score with tape, which was a real sensation. After that the "Heidelberger Gitarrenquartett" (Nadine Bauer, Christian Schlipper, Martin Hilpp, Martin Feller) had such a success with Boccherinis Introduktion und Fandango that this piece was demanded in each of the other concerts. Anitras Tanz of Grieg, the Miller's Dance of de Falla und the popsong Monday Monday rounded off the program. Excerpts of the TV - recordings were broadcasted daily in the news.

The second concert was chamber music. First there was a performance of a duo soprano and guitar and then a guitarduo. The second part of the program was completely reserved for the "Heidelberger Gitarrenquartett" and for the soloists of "GuitArt", Antje Asendorf and Martin Hilpp.

The third concert took place in a church in the famous city of Jalta. Before the perfomance there was enough time to visit the palace of the Zars in which 1945 the famous Conference of Jalta with Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill with took place. They designed then after world war II a new order of european states and borders.

The final concert of the festival consisted of the best pioeces of the previous programs. Our encore, an arrangement of the funny melody of a German childrens TV-series always got particular applause.

Omne more concert was performed in the Musical College of Simferopol a kind of conservatory, but the pupils also learn chemistry, mathematics, history of their country ...). The instrumental level is quite high there.

Additional to the musical activities we had some very interesting sightseeing - excursions. We saw the city of Sewastopol, the city, that is publicly accessible only for a few years because previously it was prohibited area as a base
of the Soviet navy. We learned a lot about the history of Katharina
the Great and about the war between Turkey, England and Russia on the crimean peninsula. In the also former prohibited area of Bala Klava, we viewed one very hidden lying bay, that had already served the Genueserns in the past as trade - and fleet-base, - old fortress-ruins still testifies from that - and where a whole mountain is caved, in which not long ago still atomic submarines of the Russian navy were hidden. Further climaxes was a trip to the ancient city Eski Kermen which consisted of many caves in a big rock and Bachtschisarai, that exotic oriental palace of the Turkish sultan .
There also has to be mentioned a large botanical garden near Jalta, and of course the fantastic, legendary crimean champagne. The accomodation privately in families gave us the possibility to participate in the everyday life, friendliness and hospitality of the people who partly lived under enormously difficult economic conditions. That enabled us to learn about the country, it's problems, the conditions of living, the opinions of the people much more than one can learn when travelling as a tourist.
After all, we would like to direct our thanks to the German Music Counsil. Their support of such projects besides the musical experiences and encounters contributes to mutual understanding of the people of different countries and fifferent cultures maby more than polititians.

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Ensemble "GuitArt" - 1999 again in the Ukraine

"youth cultural encounter at it`s best"

Like already last year the " Ensemble GuitArt " (the guitar-ensemble of the music school of the city of Heidelberg) which was established and directed by Helmut Oesterreich , again undertook a concert-tour to Simferopol, the district-capital of the Crimean peninsula . The 24 young musicians were supported by the German Music Counsil, that again payed an essential part of the travelling-expenses.
It was the aim of this trip to intensify the contacts of the foregone visit and to establish apartnership between the Tschaikowski - Music-College of Simferopol and the Heidelberg music-school.
The Music College is an institution of the ukranian state that enables musically gifted children to attain a compartment-high school diploma with the main focus on the subject music. The music-instruction, existing from instrumental compartment-instruction, ensemble, - choir - orchestras, theory etc earns the biggest share with it at the syllabus. One teaches however also mathematics, languages and the other high school diploma-relevant fans besides it. Goal is it to prepare the students for a study for musician-occupations.
Another education-branch is a study-walk to the state tested music-schoolteacher. Orchestra-music or artistic education is not offered, this must be studied in one of the three conservatories of the country.
During the time of our stay, one allowed us to listen with the exactly current examination-preludes, and so we could see for us of the excellent level of the students. At all, we met numerous, very good musicians. Unfortunately, the disastrous financial situation of the country and therefore a sensational Perspektivlosigkeit leads with some of them to a quite resigned stand. Lacking appearance-possibilities, shaming low concert-honoraria, students, who can pay also hardly anything for her/its/their instruction, is the reason for it. That are still well at the vocational school of employed Lehrkräften since they possess a solid job even if no salary is disbursed sometimes for months.
On the other hand, however also an enormous enthusiasm prevails for music. Since little cultural activities are offered, the concert-halls have always been sold out with our appearances until on the last place, partly several listeners stood. Wooing about each individual concert-goer, as it is quite dispersed in these parts however, there seems to be unnecessary and unknown.

The ensemble
The ensemble " of GuitArt " consisted of 19 guitarists this time, under it as active player the acting director of the Heidelberger music-school, Mr. Kersten Müller, just as the ensemble-leader Helmut Österreich and the chairperson of the circle of friends of the music-school, Mrs. Rita Glass. To on her/its/their initiative, the partnership-project had originated in the last year. Furthermore, Wolfgang Wendel and two of his/its students had come along the pipe-lecturer in order to reinforce the ensemble in some arrangements and, to bring in another sound-color-like aspect.
Apart from the at - and departure-day, there was a concert daily, altogether therefore five times. In addition, Wolfgang Wendel disputed a many-heeded Workshop over " new music for flute ", with which among others he/it selected works, Yun, Stahmer, Aitken, Fukushima, vorspielte and regarding her/its/their game-technology expounded. The interest and information-need for the new music was extraordinarily big, obviously a Nachholbedarf exists here, because it is very difficult to receive music-material of new works for the Ukrainian musicians.
The repertoire of " GuitArt " consisted of the following pieces, it was supplemented dues in some concerts by solistische.
How already read year could the " ensemble GuitArt " which from Helmut Österreich created and led guitar ensemble of the music - and song school Heidelberg, therefore this year again at concert tours undertake anuses Simferopol, the district capital of the peninsula of the Crimea. There were supported 24 young musicianses generously again by the German music council which took over at essential interest of the travel expenses. The aim of this journey something to intensify the contacts been tied up by the preceded visit and to concretize the cooperation angedachte at that Time between the Tschaikowski - music technical school and the music school Heidelberg. This technical school is at state institution which enables musically for gifted young persons to attain at specialized high school diploma with the Main point music. The music lesson, consisting of instrumentally specialized lessons, ensemble, - choir orchestra, theory etc Besides, takes the biggest interest in the course of study. However, besides become therefore mathematics,

Michael Prätorius 3 Tänze: Ballett – La Rosette - Gaillarde
Purcell, Henry 3 Stücke: Symphonie While The Swans Come Foreward – If Love’s A Sweet Passion – Dance For The Fairies
Rist, Jonas Fughetta
Demillac, Yvon Hommage A Roger Généraux
Plankenhorn, John Patrick It’s Time To Get Our Own Smell (für 4-stimmiges Gitarrenensemble und 2 Solisten)
Humperdinck, Engelbert Abendlied (aus: Hänsel und Gretel)
Debussy, Claude Golliwogg’s Cakewalk
Bernstein, Leonard America (aus: West Side Story)
Boehm, Roland Fiesta
Mancini, Henry Pink Panther Theme
Lennon/McCartney Eleanor Rigby



In the morning of the second day, we played in the school no 3, the high school, that had been our host in the previous year. A " fan-community ", that remembered us, had already appeared in the auditorium. Numerous known faces were to be seen
and the applause was already exuberant with our first sounds. Also the school-director didn't miss to come and listen to the concert.

Public concert in the painting-gallery, broadcasted by the Ukrainian state-television.
A very representative concert found other-day in the urban painting-gallery, one optical and acoustically wonderful hall .
In the morning we rehearsed at the music school again and could get some insight into the everyday life of this institution. Apparently, the lack of rehearsing- rooms is a problem not only in our country. In the acoustically terrible walks of the building and in the stairwell, numerous students practiced, everyone with approximately 2 - 3 meters of distance of the neighbor, wildly in confusion. The 5 Akkordeonistens alone would have been able to leave the listeners deaf, but there also mixed tuba - and trumpet-sounds , one lonesome violinist in her corner probably coudn't hear herself . Incredible noise all over the place. One must be surprised that such good musicians can be trained under these conditions.

In the afternoon we walked to the concert hall where a team of the Ukrainian State Television already expected us. They broadcasted an interview and the recording of our concert the subsequent Saturday in the in the afternoon.
We had shared the program with the women's choir of the Music College under the direction of the spirited Elena Prokopez. Everybody was excuited about the highly professional level, the homogeneity, intonation-security and the ability of stylistically adequate interpretation. They sang Mozart, Haydn, Tschaikowsky, modern music and Gershwins " Summertime " with a first-class soloist.

After the breake we played among others music of Renaissanse, Debussy, Bernstein, Beatles. Before finishing with Roland Boehms Fiesta we said thank you to our hosts for their friendly hospitality. The encore, Henry Mancini's "Pink Panther Theme" forced the public to standing ovations.

Feodosia, Kunstgalerie
The city Feodosia lies approximately 100 km east from Simferopol at the coast of the Black Sea . The concert in the local art gallery, that contained a very impressive collection of large-size works, altogether maritime motifs of the Ukrainian painter I.K. Aiwasowckij , got to another climax. We celebrated the success afterwards together with the choir with a sample of the famous "Krimsekt", spontaneous street-music and with lively dancing in a nearby cafe .

Tschaikowsky - Music College
This concert was played solely by "GuitArt" , and therefore it was enough time for solistic contributions of Marjolijn Storm (Johansson: La Folia Folio) and Gerrit Hoyer (Albéniz: Asturias) . The public, mostly musicians again appreciated the performance very much.

Opening - Concert of the cultural program of the International youth - recreation - center "Artek"

The mild climate and the splendid landscape made the Crimean peninsula during the time of the USSR to the vacations - and recuperation-paradise of the entire Soviet world. Here, the privilegeds and mighty had their Datschas, important Communists were allowed to come here for recreation and vacation.
The international youth - recreation - camp "Artek" is designed for approximately 4500 children. It is situated wonderfully at the hilly, green overgrown shores of the black sea. The camp consists of numerous small villages, the housings are clear, neither the notorious socialistic-style-constructions nor monumental buildings exist. Here, in a classizistic representation-building, we had the honor to be able to play the opening-concert in the current culture-program.

The atmosphere in the hall, crowded with children and youngsters was indescribable, comparable only with pop-music-concerts. The ensemble was already welcomed with with stormy applause when they approached the stage. An introduction fitting the age of the listeners presented our renaissance-music as it would be songs from the charts, and the piece of the Australian composer John Patrick Plankenhorn, that was inspired from the music of Frank Zappa brought the hall completely to boiling. There were two soloists playing on electric guitars: Martin Hilpp and Christoph Nikendei. This mood was kept in that state , while we played Golliwogg`s Cakewalk, America, Eleanor Rigby and Fiesta , but it even increased, when Irina, the soloist of the choir, joined in our final piece, the "Pink Panther - Theme" with a scat-vocal improvisation.

With this climax, the musical part of our trip reached a successful conclusion as we could not have imagined better.

Sightseeing and excursions

Finally at the day of our departure, we discussed with the directors of the Music College that we would like to counter-invite the choir for the coming year 2000 to Germany and play concerts in Heidelberg and at the EXPO in Hannover. Their joy was gigantic, particularly Elena Prokopez and herSergeij Rabotjakov, a real " guitar-aficionado ", - he had played some smaller pieces of Koshkin, Dyens and Tarrega at the concert in Feodosia, - were overjoyed. These both were the ones who had don most of the organizational work for our stay in Simferopol.

Already organizing our accommodation , privately, at the without exception enormously friendly guest-families, must have cost some effort - not to mention the organization of the concerts, the planning of the common activities, and and and...

Finally everybody came to a farewell - meeting, where Wolfgang Wendel and me a "Diploma of Honor" of the Music College was presented for our musical activities. Each player got a poster of our concert - announcements in kyrillic letters.

Well, the exciting week has passed much too fast, but the wonderful experiences will remain in memory surely for a very long time. Maybe, also friendships arouse that will last for years.
Anyway, we are already looking foreward to the counter-visit next year.


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e-mail: Helmut Oesterreich

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