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Refugees, the Vienna Philarmonic Orchestra and a house....

A good-feel story in an otherwise rather bleak landscape....

"As tensions over the Syrian refugee crisis continue to escalate across Europe, one of the the world’s great orchestras has offered a ray of humanitarian hope. A month ago the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra purchased a disused house in St. Aegyd, Lower Austria for the purpose of housing homeless refugees. The ‘Vienna Philharmonic House’ is the brainchild of the orchestra’s clarinetist Norbert Täubl, who was born in the village. The old inn is large enough to support four families, and will also serve as a meeting place for cultural dialogue and benefit concerts. Chairman Andrew Großhauer said, “With this project we not only send a signal of humanitarian commitment, but also open a space for dialogue and understanding which everyone benefits long term, the community and also our society”.

The plight of Syrian refugees migrating to Europe is an issue close to the hearts of many of the musicians in the Vienna Philharmonic. Around 40 members of the orchestra come from migrant backgrounds and 20 do not possess an Austrian passport. The orchestra is made up of different nationalities, cultural backgrounds and experiences, “but we love music” their website reads. “We are made up of many different voices but we resonate together. We have music to follow, scores and conductors. We have a voice in society and a shared desire to help others.”

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