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Pianist David Aronson: The Man Behind The Singers

Pianist David Aronson: The Man Behind The Singers

The coffee had just arrived as pianist and conductor David Aronson came gliding past the broad windows of the Café Sperl on Gumpendorferstrasse in Vienna’s 6th District, his long, swinging strides bringing him seconds later in through the panelling and bevelled glass of the entry way. (He lives right around the corner on Theobaldgasse and […]

Dr. Daria Siekhaus: Crossing All Boundaries

Dr. Daria Siekhaus: Crossing All Boundaries

It was just 14:00 as I locked my bike on Kolingasse alongside Café Stein where I was to meet Dr. Daria Siekhaus, a cell and developmental biologist and project leader at the Institute for Science and Technology Austria (IST) in Klosterneuberg.  But she had arrived ahead of me and was leaning, half standing, half perched, […]

Seven Days in Vienna

Seven Days in Vienna

The night before my flight to Vienna, I sat down to watch Before Sunrise (1995). Despite brutally highlighting the current lacklustre state of my love life, I did enjoy it. Scenes captured Vienna’s beautiful landscape – romance at the Riesenrad, the Danube in the moonlight, seedy bars. In some ways, the film can even be […]

How Isotype Almost Conquered The World

How Isotype Almost Conquered The World

Through the red-brick portal and dark green doors of the Austrian Museum for Social and Economic Affairs, there’s a Kaffeehaus. Or is it a Beisl? It’s not staged for tourists – just a pleasantly worn, friendly Lokal for sharing table and talk. Perfect for a museum whose daily bread is communication. Tucked away in a […]

Paul Gulda: Improvising A Life of Art And Activism

Paul Gulda: Improvising A Life of Art And Activism

The asylum law protesters had been camped out at the Votivkirche for a couple of weeks when pianist Paul Gulda visited them for the first time in mid January. He had been asked to contribute a message of solidarity for their website. But as he read more about the occupation, he decided he needed to […]

John Sailer: Gallerist of The Austrian Avant-Garde

John Sailer: Gallerist of The Austrian Avant-Garde

Saturday, 15 March. It was just after 15:00, when I pushed open the door of Café Sperl and felt a blessed gust of warm air. After a few days of a spring tease, the weather had turned on us with a slap, sending everyone back to the closet for hats and scarves. So it was […]

Timna Brauer: Songstress on A World Stage

Timna Brauer: Songstress on A World Stage

The first thing you notice about Timna Brauer is the hair, a massive voluptuous mane of curls, barely restrained by a pin here or a clip there. The second thing is her smile. It’s one that reaches clear across her face, fun loving and generous and, one imagines, one that would be very hard to […]

Auer Borea & The Kreisky Forum: Solving Problems Through Dialogue

Auer Borea & The Kreisky Forum: Solving Problems Through Dialogue

Given the roster of leading thinkers who cross her threshold, it’s surprising how many are unfamiliar with the name of Gertraud Auer Borea d’Olmo, since 2005 the General Secretary of the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue in Vienna. But she prefers it that way. “It’s not about promoting me, it is about promoting ideas,” […]

The Ballad of the Wiener Kaffeehaus

(The above video is a reading of the poem “The Ballad of the Wiener Kaffeehaus” by BBC radio presenter Piers Burton Page.) The [ Café ] Central-people are always attracted like the murderer to the scene of the crime, to where they killed so much time, wiped out entire years.” – Alfred Polgar: “Theory of the Café […]

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