Christoph Koncz plays Mozart’s violin
for MOMO –
Vienna’s mobile children hospice and palliative care team
live from Mozart’s Residence in Salzburg
© Andreas Hechenberger
Our sponsors and supporters
A one-of-a-kind charity event
The renowned violinist Christoph Koncz plays for us, and all friends of Mozart, for the benefit of MOMO, Vienna’s children’s hospice and children’s palliative care team. This time, he will not be playing his Stradivarius, but – on Mozart’s own concert violin. The instrument, built in 1710, is a “relic” that only leaves its “home” at the Mozarteum very rarely and on special occasions. And if it is allowed to leave, it is always accompanied by several bodyguards. Koncz will be accompanied by pianist Eloïse Bella Kohn, playing on an original pianoforte from the time of Mozart.
This special evening has been organised by the Rotary Club Wien-Stadtpark in cooperation with the Rotary Club Wien-Graben and the Mozarteum Salzburg and will take place online.
The net proceeds of this event will benefit MOMO.
Event details and tickets
Date: June 8th 2021
Time: 7pm (GMT +1)
Place: online via YouTube (you will have the chance to ask the musicians questions via the chat function)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sonata for piano and violin D major, KV 306 (300l) (Paris 1778) – 24’
Sonata for piano and violin F major, KV (374d) (Vienna 1781) – 16’
Christoph Koncz, on Mozart’s violin
Eloïse Bella Kohn, on pianoforte
Dr. Michael Paul moderator
MOMO – Vienna’s mobile children’s hospice and children’s palliative care team
Momo, the little girl from Michael Ende’s well-known novel, is the namesake for the mobile children’s hospice. In 2013, a team of dedicated doctors and the Caritas organization founded this facility, which is unique in Vienna and relies almost exclusively on donations. MOMO provides medical and psychosocial care for seriously ill children and adolescents and their families at home, accompanying them through difficult times, death, and beyond that. The team around palliative specialist Dr. Martina Kronberger-Vollnhofer addresses the individual needs of the young patients and their relatives, regardless of their origin, world view and social status. The care is free of charge. Currently, around 100 children are being cared for in Vienna. MOMO is the major social project of our Rotary Club, Wien-Stadtpark. We have been supporting MOMO since 2019.
Who becomes a student at the Vienna University of Music as a six-year-old? No, it was not Mozart, because the university did not yet exist in the mid-18th century. Rather, it was Christoph Koncz, born in 1987 into a family of musicians in Constance, who began his training in Vienna just two years after his first violin lessons. He later studied conducting with Daniel Barenboim, among others. Koncz, who himself says that Mozart was the composer closest to him since childhood, made his debut as a soloist in North America at the age of twelve. Since then, he has played all over the world – as a soloist and chamber musician.
At the age of only 20, Koncz took the next step in his career: he became principal second violinist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In the meantime, he regularly swaps his Stradivarius (the “Brüstlein” built in 1707) for the baton, after proving his exceptional talent on the podium at the Salzburg Mozart Week in 2013. He performs with orchestras all over the world – he is principal guest conductor with the Musiciens du Louvre.
Born in Paris in 1991, she began her piano training at the age of four. She studied in Paris, Freiburg and Vienna. Among the many artists with whom she attended master classes is the internationally renowned pianist András Schiff. In 2009, she already gave a concert at the Citè de la Musique. In 2018, her first CD with Debussy’s 24 Preludes was released.
Bella Kohn is not only a sought-after soloist in halls such as the Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, the Berlin Philharmonie and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, she has also made a name for herself as a chamber musician. Her partners include ensembles such as the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and the Elbland Philharmonie Sachsen as well as soloists from the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras and the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam.
Together with violinist Christoph Koncz, Bella Kohn founded the chamber music festival “Europäische Musiktage Heidelberg”.
Mozart’s concert violin
“It went like oil, everything praised the beautiful, pure sound.” („Es gieng wie Öhl, alles lobte den schönen, reinen Ton.“) And “there was a big look on everyone’s face. I played as if I were the greatest violinist in all of Europe.” („da schaute ales gros drein. Ich spiellte als wenn ich der gröste geiger in Ganz Europa wäre.“) This is what a certain Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote to his father Leopold after he had performed his Violin Concerto in G major in Augsburg in 1777. What did it sound like? For a long time, one could only speculate, until the violinist Christoph Koncz achieved a world sensation. Last year, he was allowed to play the precious instrument, which rests in the vault of the Mozarteum Foundation in Mozart’s birthplace. And what did Koncz do in this happy moment when he held this “relic” in his hands for the first time? “The first time I had the opportunity to play this instrument in the vault of Mozart’s birthplace, I immediately played through all five concertos,” he told the newspaper “Die Presse” at the end of September 2020. The result of many days of practice and intensive study of sources is the CD with all five violin concertos that Koncz recorded with the Musiciens du Louvre.
The violin was probably built around 1710 by a member of the Klotz family of violin makers in Mittenwald and, which is a rarity, is still in its original condition. Mozart played the violin in the 1770s during his time as concertmaster to the prince-archbishop in Salzburg and he also composed all the violin concertos for this instrument.
Mozart’s sister is said to have sold the violin to a family friend around 1820. In 1956, the Mozart Year, the Foundation was able to acquire the instrument from a family of pharmacists in Schwanenstadt.
124 years after Mozart’s birth, the The Mozarteum Foundation was “born”. From the beginning, its mission was clear: to build a bridge between tradition and contemporary culture. The foundation is a private non-profit organisation that focuses on three goals. First, to preserve Mozart’s legacy in concerts, museums and science, but also to keep it alive. Second, Mozart’s birthplace and Mozart’s residence in Salzburg are part of it and are among the most visited attractions in Austria. The foundation’s statutes already stipulated the construction of a concert hall (the “Mozarteum”), a house for a Mozart library and an archive. Third, one of the foundation’s greatest treasures is the collection of original Mozart instruments. One of the major scientific projects is the Digital Mozart Edition, which aims to make knowledge about Mozart available to all interested parties.
There are about 8.300 Rotary members in Austria. The Rotary Club Wien-Stadtpark was founded in 1984 and currently has 89 members. The Rotary Club-Wien Graben was founded in 1999, with the Rotary Club Wien-Stadtpark figuring as sponsor. The club has 106 members.
1.2 million members in about 35.000 clubs around the globe: In 1905, the lawyer Paul Harris founded the community of values with three friends in Chicago. Among all service clubs, Rotary is thus the oldest and one of the largest organisations of its kind. The goals remain unchanged to this day: humanitarian service, commitment to peace and international understanding, service in daily life. “Polioplus”, the fight against polio, has long been one of the worldwide charitable projects. It is the largest private health initiative in history.