Secretary of Welcome to Austria

A very precious visit to the Winterpalais (Prinz Eugene of Savoy)…

…. was just offered by Martha Hanreich:  a guided visit through the exhibition “Heavenly! The Baroque Sculptor Johann Georg Pinsel”.






Little is known about his life, origins and training, says our enthousiastic coordinator, Martha.  His date and place of birth are buried in obscurity. He became a central figure in Lemberg´s Baroque sculpture, which between 1740 and 1790 reached an extremely high artistic level and amazing homogeneity in terms of style. Worked with the architect Bernard Meretyn, he decorated primarily churches between Lviv and Buchach with his imposing sculptures in wood and stone. The powerful expressivity of his figures not only derives from their facial expressions and gestures, but also and above all from the opulence of their garments. The exhibition shows twenty exhibits by Pinsel and his studio as well  as works from Austrian painters of the Late Baroque (Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Paul Troger).


Advent Concert in French Embassy

This year’s invitation – once again – came from Ambassador Pascal Teixeira da Silva and his charming wife Pascale into the French residence. Vienna based Nicolai Quartett entertained with Josepf Haydn and Johannes Brahms, with the unique sound of the Vienna Philharmonics: all four quartett members are part of the string crew in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra!

Nicolai Quartett - Vienna

NICOLAI QUARTETT (© B. Dinkhauser)

Come and see,

Be a member of Welcome to Austria!

(more photos to come)

At the Department for the Protection of Monuments

Coordinated by Honorary President, Gabrielle Schallenberg, President Barbara Neubauer, Head of the Department for the Protection of Monuments, received WA members in the Ancestor’s Gallery of the Hofburg. A highly interesting powerpoint projection of the restauration work done on architectural monuments in Austria gave a pertinent insight to Austrian heritage issues.

BDA - GAbrielle -WA

Monthly Jour Fixe

for accredited diplomats to meet WA members: informal networking lunch at Café Landtmann, Universitätsring 4, 1010 Wien (Biedermeierzimmer), on the second Wednesday of each month, any time between 12:30 and 14:30. Menu € 12,50 or à la carte. Organized by Aglaë Hagg-Thun, Second Vice President


Vienna at Home

Renate Christiani saw eight nations around the table of her traditional ” Vienna-at-Home- Wiener Jause” tea party
for new Club members Austrian specialities, such as “Vanilla Kipferl”, “Linzertorte” and “Esterhazy Torte” were served.


The conversation was lively and the cozy atmosphere was further
enhanced by a lovely performance of pianist Ryoko Tajika-Drei,
our Club member from Japan.





Discovery Tour to Seestadt Aspern (Architecture)

Coordinator Anne Thun-Hohenstein organized a passionate guided tour tom one of Europe’s largest urban development projects – a new town as a mix of all round living, work and leisure facilities. After the visit a vivid discussion about urbanism, fashion and living standards animated the excellent lunch in what will once be the center of Seestadt Aspern.

P1190727Aspern Project center expalined by building expertP1190734Rain & Wind did not stop WA members from exploring New architecture under construction








“Italianità” – influence on creators of music north of the alps

“Knowst thou that land where the lemons bloom so fair?” Mag. Doris Flekatsch, musicologist and an expert in the field, held her conference in the premises of Welcome to Austria. Invited by coordinator Dr. Elisabeth Wolff she highlighted the influence of the innovative Italian styles of composition and performance. Italianità inspired creators of music over centuries. A most appreciated insight!

2016-10-20 09.52.592016-10-20 09.54.47







Carnuntum – Living rooms in and near Vienna 2000 years ago (WA Jeunes Familles)

In Carnuntum the ruins and reconstructions of a Roman Castrum give evidence of what this place close to Vienna, called Vindobona in Roman times, was like. It’s come to live for Welcome to Austria Jeunes Familles on the recent Austrian National Day just before winter will close the doors of the archeological park, museum and houses. Roman ladies in their drawing room, domestics in the bakery and kitchens where introduced in their historic habitat by ambassador Dr. Walter Hagg. Adapted for children this amateur archeologist and art historian took the families around in the Carnuntum settlement and took them even to the Heidentor, an emblem of Austrian – Pannonian – history. Received afterwards in the private home of Dr. Wolfgang and Carina Lafite the renowned Carnuntum wines with a delicious Heurigenjause and a visit to one of the oldest Romanesque Churches in Austria nearby the day closed at the banks of the Danube.

Walter Hagg introduces WA Jeunes Familles to Roman CivilizationReceiving Hall in a Carnuntum Villa decorated like in PompejiNahledi tries Roman breadReceiving Hall in a Carnuntum Villa decorated like in PompejiHeidentor and it's background explained by Walter HaggGrandpa & gandson BeasleyWA Jeunes Familles at Austrian Emblem "Heidentor" CarnuntumP1190886

WA Jeunes Familles: Vintage Train Tour

WA Jeunes Familles entering steamengine 3013

Vintage Steam Engine from 1928

Vintage Steam Engines Tour

WA Jeunes Familles Tour Sept2016

WA Jeunes Familles steam engine model drive

“Das Heizhaus”, Starsshof, Driving on a Steam Engines Model

Vintage Train Museum "Das Heizhaus"

Children entering a maintenance car in Vintage Train Museum HEIZHAUS








General Assembly 2016

Marmorsaal, BmeiA

General Assembly 2016, Alois-Mock-Saal, BMEiA

Welcome to Austria 2016: Gabrielle Schallenberg, Hon. Vice President & Angelika Saupe, vice president

Welcome to Austria 2016: Gabrielle Schallenberg, Hon. Vice President & Angelika Saupe-Berchtold, vice president

Aglaë Hagg, 2nd vice president & Elisabeth Wolff, many years of coordinator for music programs

Aglaë Hagg, 2nd vice president & Elisabeth Wolff, many years of coordinator for music programs

Audience discussing vividly about programs of Welcome to Austria

from left: Gundega Miluts, Dagny Herheim, Joyce Freismuth, Rosanna Berti

Cuisine: Lunch at Elisabeth Sunley’s house

Cuisine at Elisabeth Sunbley's House

Elisaeth Sunley explaining her home cooked lunch with Austrian specialties

Gruppenbild Website snagged

Invited at Elisabeth Sunley’s Haus for Austrian specialties homemade such as Tafelspitz, Wiener Schnitzel and Sachertorte










Funkhaus visit to FM4

Funhaus ORF visit to FM4

Funhaus ORF, WA member Jeoffrey Skipper registering radio comment

Anna Skipper registering her poetry in ORF Funkhaus Erlebnisstudio

Anna Skipper registering her poetry in ORF Funkhaus Erlebnisstudio



(Expect Radio comments to be published here)

Saturday, June 11, 2016

  1. First stop was the mausoleum of the famous General Radetzky in Heldenberg, continuing to Schloss Limberg where the internationally renowned artist Erwin Wurm showed his atelier. WA members enjoyed Erwin Wurm’s explanation of one of his sculptures
  2. Lunch at Schloss Rosenau was followed by a tour  of Austria’s only Museum of Freemasonery.
  3. Near the Bohemian border Countess Kinsky welcomed WA members to the family’s imposing Burg Heidenreichstein which dates back to 1160.
  4. The Romantik-Hotel Gmünd provided food and overnight. HRH Andreas von Habsburg gave the Members a short talk on the history of Gmünd and in the morning he permitted us to have a glimpse of his private art collection.
Erwin Wurm studio in Limberg

Erwin Wurm’s atelier.

Freimaurer Tempel in Rosenau

Inside the Masonic Temple


Burg Heidenreichstein

Romantik Hotel in Gmünd

Romantik Hotel Gmünd

Burg Gmünd (Habsburg owned)

HRH Andreas von Habsburg private art collection

Sunday, June 12, 2016

    1. A walking tour of the charming walled town of Freistadt was followed by a visit to Kefermarkt’s Gothic church to admire the famous altar-piece, a jewel of Medival woodcarving.
    2. In the afternoon, the group viewed the historic Dyers’ House in Gutau, famous for its traditional indigo-printed textiles.
    3. The final stop was Grein, where the first visit was to the magnificent Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha castle overlooking the Danube.
    4. The weekend ended with a guided visit to the charming Baroque theatre in the centre of Grein.


Färberhaus in Gutau

Historic wooden blocks for printing indigo cottons


Freistadt’s landmark tower


Visit to Kefermarkt’s parish church

Donau bei Grein

The Danube Valley at Grein

Burg Grein

Inner courtyard at Grein Castle

Theater Grein

Historic theater in Grein

Reinildis van Ditzhuyzen (historian & writer), introduced us to recently discovered love letters from a private family archive in a Viennese house, saying that her book, 15 Love Letters from Lemberg. An Unexpected Detective & Life-story 1916-2016 is mirroring the Great War (1915-1916).  The beautiful language of the time Hermann Lilienfeld addressed the letters to his beloved Hermine Rainer, a rich Viennese heiress, certainly was unusual for soldiers. Today we can also identify with his cosmopolitan life.

´You know, Hermine, I always and everywhere look for beauty. War is horrible, but even in the most gruelling circumstances, there are moods and moments full of beauty, that bring tears to my eyes and make me happy.´ Although the book is published in German, Ditzhuyzen presented it for us in English.

Hermann & Mimi 1915Brief Mimibrieven2Omslag boekLemberg Oper RVD








…..The book will reveal the secrets of these pictures, you want to buy it?

(Write to the author: reinildisditz@gmail.com)


You have been part of Elisabeth Wolff’s program in the Vienna Staatsoper backstage?

When we had the great privilege to listen at the Hans Gabor Singing Competition this year?

Here the final results from Cape Town:

1st Prize: NICHOLAS BROWNLEE, Bass-Baritone, USA
Donated in memoriam KS Teresa Stich-Randall

2nd Prize: NOLUVUYISO MPOFU, Soprano, South Africa
Donated by Jan Meulendijks and Bart Schuil

3rd Prize: RAEHANN BRYCE-DAVIS, Mezzo-Soprano, USA
Donated by Valentin and Anni Leitgeb Foundation

Prize of the International Media-Jury: SELENE ZANETTI, Soprano, Italy

Prize of the Audience: NOLUVUYISO MPOFU, Soprano, South Africa
Donated by Dr. Madeleine Kim, South Korea


You might be interested in how Pretty Yende did? She was first presenting in Vienna and we were testimonials: