The American Austrian Foundation
The American Austrian Foundation

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Newsletter 10/2011
SAVE THE DATE! Music for Medicine

The 2011 Music for Medicine benefit will take place on Wednesday, November 30, 2011. This year’s benefit, our first at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, will feature a performance by members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Invitations will be sent in early October.  For more information, please call 212.856.1075 or email, or click here to purchase tickets. 


Joint Board Meeting

On August 19, 2011, a joint meeting of the boards of The American Austrian Foundation and the Salzburg Stiftung of the AAF was held at Schloss Arenberg. The meeting was co-chaired by Johannes Graf Moy de Sons, Chairman of the Salzburg Sifting, and Thomas J. McGrath, President of the AAF and the Salzburg Stiftung of the AAF.

Katharine Eltz-Aulitzky, the AAF’s Executive Director, presented a comprehensive report on the Foundation’s activities in 2010-2011, highlighting cultural programs such as The Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors, the AAF Prize for Fine Arts and the Arenberg Children’s Music Camps. Mr. McGrath presented the AAF’s financial report, and Dr. Astrid Wimmer, Treasurer of the Salzburg Stiftung of the AAF, presented on behalf of both the Salzburg Stiftung and SAgB (Schloss Arenberg geneinnültzige Betriebs GmbH). Mr. Moy and Heinrich Spängler, President of the Salzburg Stiftung of the AAF, also gave an update on the status of the Milton and Roslyn Wolf Park and Würth Sculpture Garden at Schloss Arenberg.

Dr. Wolfgang Aulitzky, President of the Salzburg Stiftung and AAF Medical Director, discussed the successes of the Open Medical Institute’s programs, and highlighted lesser-known initiatives. For example, the Max Kade Fellowship, now in its 15th year, has sent 314 fourth-year medical students from the US to study for four weeks in a department of their choice at a hospital in Vienna, and the Andlinger Fellowship, now in its 19th year, a unique program that allows medical residents (not students) to do an exchange to their department in a partner institution (such as NYPH/Weill Cornell to Medical University Vienna/General Hospital of Vienna). Through such an exchange, residents gain additional training in their specialty and knowledge of another health care system while establishing personal contacts with another institution.

On behalf of the board of the AAF, Mr. McGrath expressed his thanks to all the members of the Salzburg Stiftung, as well as the team at Schloss Arenberg, for their hospitality in welcoming the members to Salzburg. The collaboration and partnership that is such a key element to The American Austrian Foundation’s success was obvious, and was enjoyed by all who attended the meeting.


Anesthesiology Fellows and Faculty

Anesthesiology Faculty
Anesthesiology Faculty
l-r: Dr. Jan Samuels, Dr. Vinod Malhotra (Course-Director), Dr. Peter Gerner (Co-Course Director), Dr. Martin Dünser, Dr. Maria Bustillo, Dr. Peter Fleischut

Despite several challenges presented by recent natural phenomena, Weill Cornell Medical College and Paracelsus Private Medical University were able to successfully conduct their Anesthesiology seminar at Schloss Arenberg from August 28th through September  3rd. Prior to the seminar, the east coast of the United States was struck by Hurricane Irene, causing multiple flight delays, affecting the travel plans of many of the American faculty members. Fortunately, Dr. Peter Fleischut of Weill Cornell Medical College was already in Europe at the time, and was able to coordinate with the Austrian faculty members and personally conduct several of the lectures as scheduled.

The week-long seminar proved to be a success, having engaged 37 Fellows from twenty-six countries in a variety of lectures pertaining to Anesthesiology, conducted by four American and six Austrian faculty members. Additionally, these Fellows attended two hands-on workshops on Ultrasound and Airway, which complemented the lectures brilliantly. This Anesthesiology seminar was led by Dr. Vinod Malhotra and Dr. Peter Gerner, the respective course director and co-course director.



The ESU Weill Cornell Masterclass in Urology was held July 10-16 at Schloss Arenberg in Salzburg.

This unique seminar brings together young, promising urologists from  Western Europe and India as well as the AAF’s core region – Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the former Soviet Union.

Although participants have different equipment and medications available to them, they are all challenged by the same problems. This interactive seminar allows them to share their strategies and form lasting relationships with colleagues from all over the world.

Three urologists published their impressions in the European Urological Association’s publication European Urology Today at
, Pages 18-19



Due to budget cuts by the City of Vienna, the number of OMI Observership program participants has been reduced from 16 to 12 per month, and two regular program activities (a course at the Vienna School of Clinical Research and a tour of the Josephinum Museum) have currently been suspended.  Unfortunately, these cuts will continue in 2012, and there will be a longer waiting period for an observership.

We welcome two new mentors to the program in Vienna; Prim. Univ. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Grisold (Head, Dept. of Neurology) and Prim. Univ.-Doz. Dr. Andrea Podczeck-Schweighofer (Head, Dept. of Cardiology), both from Sozialmedizinischen Zentrum Süd – Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Spital have donated their time to support our fellows.

Special thanks to Prof. Manfred Maier, Prof. Susanne Binder, Prof. Herwig Swoboda, Prof. Manfred Tschabitscher, Prof. Rainald Seitelberger, Prof. Heinz Ludwig and Prof. Wolfgang Graninger for their personal commitment.  Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

Observers profited from events such as a guided tours through the AKH University Hospital, attending different medical conferences such as the the “3rd Retina Science Day“ and the “VISAR” training at the Center for Anatomy & Cell Biology, as well as visits to other medical institutions in Vienna. In addition, Prof. Podczeck-Schweighofer made it possible for Dr. J. Safro, a Cardiologist from Latvia, to start her first international research project.

The AAF is constantly working to refine the program while reducing expenses, in order to award a higher number of observerships. For example, we recently learned local bookings are often less expensive than bookings trough Austrian Airlines, so now many observers help to support savings by comparing prices and then making their own arrangements. Also, doctors from European Union countries who hold an EU Health Insurance Card no longer have to be insured by the AAF, as the E-card system is accepted in Austria.

We are also very happy to announce several joint research projects between observers and their Austrian mentors in 2012:

- Prof. S. Binder (Krankenanstalt Rudolf Stiftung) and Dr. N. Palarie (Moldova); Project: “Diabetic Retinopathy Screening”;
- Prof. H. Swoboda (Krankenhaus Hietzing-Rosenhügel) and Dr. P. Stefanicka (Slovakia);  Project - ”ENT Surgical Lecture in Slovakia“;
- Prof. H. Ludwig (Wilheliminenspital) and Dr. M. Betaneli (Georgia);  
Project - “Separating Stem Cells“ (in cooperation with AKH and Biobank Graz);
- Prof. J. Karner (Kaiser Franz Josef Spital) and Dr. K. Curpurdija (Croatia); Project - “Visiting Professorship with Prof. J. Karner”.

AAF continues to collaborate with countries in Africa.  In cooperation with the Institute for Medical History in Vienna, two new partner institutions – the Ahfad University in the Sudan and the Gulu University in Uganda – will send up to 10 persons to attend AAF Medical programs in 2012.


Ryan Dean

The newest member of the Salzburg Stiftung of the American Austrian Foundation is Ryan Dean, interning with the Seminar Operations Team. Ryan is a recent graduate of Bates College, where he earned his degree in German Studies and Art & Visual Culture. Since graduating, he has coordinated several international community projects to raise awareness about environmental issues and he hopes to study Turkish language in Istanbul before attending graduate school in the fall.

"As an intern for the Salzburg Stiftung, I personally feel very fortunate to be able to become acquainted with the many fellows and faculty attending various seminars at Schloss Arenberg. Daily interactions with them allow me to better realize the importance, extent, and profound impact of the work being done here. Furthermore, I am in an environment where I am not only constantly inspired to do this valuable work but I am propelled forward with new insights and skills into how to bring together the international community for humanitarian causes."

Ryan Dean


Dr. Iamze Kamkhadze, Georgia and "Clinic Clowns"

"My relationship with AAF started in 2005 year when I’ve had happiness to win competition and to attend Salzburg Medical Seminars International in Cardiology. It was for me excellent experience , that’s why applied after two years again and I was invited at the cardiac surgery seminar. I spent my three internship months at AKH Vienna. I studied there one of the complicated field of cardiology-electrophysiology by the leadership one of the prominent specialist Vienna Univ. Professor Dr. Herwig Schmidinger.

I would like to say that this program gave me opportunity of professional growing, career success, networking and helped me to set-up new collaboration and friendship!

During the Salzburg Seminar I got to know the faculty of Cardiac Surgery team from Cleveland Clinic and with their support, I spent two months at the best cardio-vascular clinics of the world-Cleveland Clinic Ohio USA. I observed cardiac imaging and cardiac surgery there. My mentor James Thomas is one of the best known specialists in the world. It was big honor for me to feel that I was part of this famous clinic. I returned from there back to my clinic with big impressions and excellent Siemens ultrasound machine kindly donated to our clinic. Currently it is only ultrasound machine in my region and by this humanitarian help we are able to save lives of many patients in Georgia.

Friendship is one of the biggest gift the AAF program gave to me. We, Georgian fellows of Salzburg seminars, keep permanent contacts and try to support each other as much as we can.
Beside this, I am staying in touch with other fellows from international community as well.

For example there is this nice story with one participant of Cardiology Seminar from Ukraine – Dr. Sergey Potashev. Twice I’ve made trip in Kiev to get my visa in Austrian embassy for my AAF observership and twice he kindly offered me to stay with his family in Kiev. It was so great to feel support from my wonderful hosts. I had opportunity to visit Cardiology Institute of Stajesko, observe his work and also to attend Cardiology Congress of Cardiology Society of Ukraine. It was big joy for me to see beautiful churches and cultural monuments.

This year Sergey arrived with his brother together in Georgia. They were guests in my family and we all enjoyed with Georgian capital Tbilisi, old capital Mtskheta and absolutely beautiful mountain area. Of course Sergey was invited in my clinic for experience exchange as well.

At the end of my the third observership in AKH Wien at the hall of this hospital I’ve met with very nice group of people-medical workers the "Clinic Clowns" who believe that positive emotions – the best way for the prevention and treatment of diseases. I am sharing with you this picture and finishing with optimistic notes.

I just like to say you: “Thank you so much”, “Danke Schön”, “Didi Madloba”, “See you later’’, “Bis Bald’’, and “Momaval Shekhvedramde’’.

Dr. Iamze Kamkhadze, Georgia



Each year, The AAF Prize for Fine Arts offers US fine arts graduate students or those who have completed their graduate studies within the past two years the opportunity to study at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts.

The jury met in Vienna on May 18th, and was chaired by Hildegund Amanshauser, the Director of the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts. Fellow jurors included Karola Kraus, the new Director of the MUMOK Vienna; Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Executive Director of "Departure"; Sylvie Liska, President of the Friends of the Secession Vienna; and Hubert Schiebl, a renowned artist who also taught at this year’s Summer Academy. 

Four winners were selected from a record number of applicants. The 2011 winners were: Saehae Chung from SUNY Purchase, Mathiew Greenfield from UCLA, Scott Jarrett and Matthew Taber, both from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The fellowship covers tuition, accommodation, airplain and a sptipend for materials. The AAF Prize for Fine Arts is made possible through the generosity of AAF Board Member Gerhard Seebacher and his wife Angelika.

Additional information on The Fine Arts Prize, including a list of past winners and the application, can be found here.



Teachers, musicians and artists

The Salzburg Festival and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra once again offered two music camps for children and teenagers aged 9 to 16.

The music camps offer a unique opportunity to learn more about music and the exciting world of opera with a team of music educators and performing artists in the inspiring atmosphere of Schloss Arenberg. During the week, the children had the opportunity to go behind the scenes of an opera. Through working with music educators, theater pedagogues, stage designers and dancers, they created their own version of one of the operas currently performed at Salzburg Summer Festival. They also attended a dress rehearsal and backstage tour.

Our young guests felt very comfortable in Arenberg  – the camps are an enjoyable social experience, and also allow the children the opportunity to learn or improve on their skills on a musical instrument or to develop their vocal and acting talents. Being part of a community where everyone is focused on music and the day revolves around lessons and rehearsals is an unforgettable experience.

The highlight of the week was the final performance of the children’s production  in the Festival District on the last day of the camp.


Brandon Keith Brown
Brandon Keith Brown

Bill Tackett
Bill Tackett

We are pleased to announce that the AAF’s 2011 Ansbacher Fellowships for Young Conductors were awarded to Brandon Keith Brown and Bill Tackett.

Mr. Brown received his M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from the Peabody Institute of Music of Johns Hopkins University. He has performed with the Cedar Rapids Symphony, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Sinfonietta, amongst others. Upon his return from Salzburg, Mr. Brown has begun his new position as an Associate Conductor for the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras in Nebraska.

Mr. Tackett will complete his M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from Florida State University in May 2012, and he currently serves as an Assistant Conductor for the Florida State University Symphony Orchestra and the Florida State University Philharmonia.

The Ansbacher Fellowship offers young conductors the opportunity to spend four weeks at the Salzburg Festival observing the world’s leading conductors and artists at work during rehearsals and performances. The fellows live at Schloss Arenberg, where they interact with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, who are in residence at Arenberg during the Salzburg Festival
Both Brandon and Bill also participated in this year’s Arenberg Children’s Music Camps, serving as conductors for the participants’ final performance!   

The Ansbacher Fellowship is funded through the generosity of the Charles A. Ansbacher Foundation. Maestro Ansbacher, who passed away in September 2010, joined the boards of The American Austrian Foundation and the Salzburg Stiftung der AAF in 1995, and supported the conducting fellowship since 1998. Additional information on The Ansbacher Fellowship, including a list of past winners and the application, can be found here.


Young singers Young Singers

This summer the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, The Salzburg Festival and Taktik organized two music camps for children between the ages of nine and sixteen at Schloss Arenberg. This year there were 70 participants from ten different countries.

The camps are designed to introduce children and teenagers to the exciting world of opera. During the course of one week they work with musicians, set designers, dancers and teachers to create and perform their own version of one of the operas currently performed at Salzburg Music Festival. Being part of a community where the entire day focuses on music and revolves around lessons and rehearsals is an unforgettable experience.

The week culminated in the premiere of the children’s opera production in the Festival District on the last day of the camp.


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