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Recording Session

Helena May (Vocals)

Helena May_photocredit_RobBlackham_edited.jpg

British-born singer and vocal coach, Helena May Harrison, has years of performance and teaching experience. Educated at Gorseinon College (Performing Arts Diploma in Performing Arts), the University of South Wales (BA 1st Class Hons in Drama Theatre & Media), and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff (MA in Musical Theatre), she is a professional actor and lecturer in both singing and performance. As a teacher, Helena May Harrison has been active in a wide variety of educational institutions. For example at HPL University of South Wales, Cardiff, Go Theatre Stage School, Performing Arts Academy Wales, Richmond Music Trust, Twickenham, ACM Guildford, and Clapham, London or ICMP - Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, a London-based partner university of VMI.

Her experience as a professional singer and performer is just as extensive and varied as her teaching activities. Her collaborations with a wide variety of bands include, for example, the following previous collaborations: Redtenbacher's Funkestra (with regular live shows at the 606 Club, concerts at JazzFest Wien, Kirchdorf Festival, at Porgy & Bess or Ziggy's World Jazz Club in London); Kokomo (one of the most famous and renowned British soul pioneers of the 70s, with whom Helena May Harrison performed mainly in London and surrounding areas, such as. at Colston Hall, Bristol; Royal Festival Hall, London; The Average White Band; Ronnie Scott's; The Boisdale Canary Wharf, London; The Half Moon, Putney, London; The Stables; Pizza Express, High Holborn; The Jazz Cafe, London); with the London Gay Big Band (at the British Summer Time Festival, Hyde Park 2016 and 2018; Pride in London, Trafalgar Square 2016 and 2017; Underbelly Festival London, Southbank 2016 and 2018; Pride in Sitges, Barcelona 2016 and 2017); The Siren Sisters (Christmas with The Siren Sisters; Wales Festival of Remembrance; An Evening of Movies and Musicals with Ruthie Henshall and John Owen Jones; Supporting Only Men Aloud - Summer Tour (2012) and on numerous radio and television appearances, such as. BBC Radio Wales, ITV Wales, S4C); The Floyd Effect, Endless Floyd, Think Floyd: (Pink Floyd Tribute UK Tour, backing vocals, 'Dark Side of the Moon' album including 'Great Gig in the Sky' and Rhodes Rock Festival).

Helena May Harrison is well versed in a wide variety of genres of modern music. Her past performance highlights include: Jazz - The Siren Sisters (1940s Close Harmony Vintage Trio) and Red Stripe Band (London Boogie-Jazz Group); Pop - Helena May (Original Project), F1 VIP Paddock Club (Monza 2021, Silverstone and Abu Dhabi 2019), Corporate & Wedding Events; Rock - Think Floyd (UK Pink Floyd Tribute), Endless Floyd (UK Touring Pink Floyd Tribute); Disco - New L-ements (Austrian Earth Wind & Fire Tribute); Funk & Soul - Count Basic (Austrian Original Project), Redtenbacher's Funkestra (Jazz-Funk), Kokomo (British Soul Legends). Since 2018, Helena May Harrison has been based in Austria. During this time she released her own album "Funkalicious" and has been performing regularly at various events and promoters (e.g. Albertina Passage, Jazz Lounge evenings at Park Hyatt Hotel or open air concerts in cooperation with various booking agencies).

I love to specialise in vocal technique, singer’s mindset/confidence, vocal health, songwriting, performance coaching and song repertoire. I was born in the UK and am a native British speaker. I feel my British roots really benefit when working with international contemporary singers in regards to vowel placement, vocal energy and overall vocal tone. I really enjoy coaching, embracing the individual’s voice, building rapport and seeing a singer’s personal breakthroughs. I have experience with students who are learning at College/University/Master level - teaching on specific modules which include a course syllabus and work towards 'End of Term' assessments. I also offer help with original work, live set repertoire and advice on the UK/Europe industry. I'm very thankful to have had an exciting, colourful, varied career so far and I’m always looking to extend my skills and work experiences. (Helena May Harrison)

Photo credit: Rob Blackham

Alexander Lackner (Bass, Music Theory)

Alexander Lackner - VMI

First classical piano studies in Vienna, then jazz and classical double bass studies at the Vienna Conservatory (Dipl. 1992), Boston and Buenos Aires, since the end of the 80s freelance musician, mainly in Vienna.

Collaboration with Andy Sheppard, Lew Soloff, Willi Resetarits, Pago Libre, Dave Liebman, Die Eiserne Zeit & Christian Qualtinger, Doretta Carter, Erich Quartett & Wolfgang Muthspiel, Franz Hauzinger, Ko: er, Agnes Heginger, Ofer, Last Cab, Zipflo Weinrich, Heinz von Hermann, Dobrek Bistro, Joe Valentin, Allegre Correa, Yta Moreno, Karl Ratzer, Manhattan Tap, Michael Heltau, Adi Hirschal, Leo Lukas, Volksoper Orchestra, Musikverein Orchestra, Medellin Quartet, Max Brand Ensemble and many more. many others.

Concerts and CD productions in USA, China, Italy, Romania, Poland, Germany, France, Spain, Argentina, Switzerland, Estonia, Latvia...

Composition commissions for Burgtheater and other stage productions, Wr. Festwochen, Kultursommer Laxenburg, radio productions and many others. Alexander Lackner has been a lecturer at the VMI and head of artistic and pedagogical study programs for over two decades.

Let's "argue" about music. (Alexander Lackner)

Conrad Schrenk (Guitar, Music Production)

Conrad Shrenck

As head of the Music Production course, the experienced and internationally renowned music producer Conrad Schrenk passes on his extraordinary expertise to students, focusing on the combination of theoretical knowledge and practical applications in various courses. Among other things, the fact that recording techniques and possibilities for professional music production have changed considerably in the course of technical development is also taken into account.

Conrad Schrenk is an active musician, composer, arranger and producer, studied classical guitar for 10 years and jazz guitar for 4 years in Vienna, has worked with many greats of the international music scene, is one of the most technically perfect guitarists in Europe, has performed in numerous countries, from Indonesia to America, and has worked with many outstanding musicians and bands in the course of his career to date. These include Al Jarreau, Lionel Richie, Romanes, Nouvelle Cousine, Hallucination Company, Save the Robots, Lew Soloff, L'ame Immortelle, Napoleon "Murphy" Brock, Russkaja, Stahlhammer, Go4it, Wr. Symphoniker, Niederösterreichische Tonkünstler, RSO Wien, John Wetton, Hakim Ludin, Wolfgang Ambros, Georg Danzer, STS, Wilfried, Klaus Eberhartinger, Thomas Lang and Falco.

Conrad Schrenk was voted one of the world's 100 best fusion guitarists by 'Realityspeaks' in 2017. His virtuoso guitar techniques can also be heard on the 2014 Grammy-winning album 'Normas'. A few years earlier, his collaboration with the exceptional drummer Thomas Lang, who lives in California, on 'Save the robots' caused an international sensation. At the end of 2012, the long-awaited follow-up album 'Yumaflex' was released, featuring a remarkable stylistic diversity ranging from rock, metal and fusion to cleverly used jazz elements and Far Eastern musical traditions. Conrad Schrenk has been teaching at the VMI for around two decades and, as head of the music production course, is heavily involved in the continuous and contemporary development of the study programs.

The central point of my teaching concept is to lead students to artistic independence through technical skill and reflection on their own musical experience in relation to the rest of the musical world. The students and their performances deserve full attention in class. This increases the students' vigilance towards their own actions and gives them the opportunity to be a good teacher for themselves - and perhaps later for others - through increased self-observation. I see an honestly positive teacher/student relationship based on personal appreciation as the basis for the development of all abilities and talents. (Conrad Schrenk)

Mel Verez (Vocals, Music Business)


The Austrian singer and songwriter Mel Verez is one of the most booked live singers in the country. With a degree in jazz and pop singing, a BA-ME in instrumental singing pedagogy and a degree in music management from the Danube University Krems, she offers interdisciplinary skills in her teaching activities. In her 10 years of teaching experience as a vocal coach, she has developed her own teaching concept for popular singing: "Combining different vocal training methods in the popular singing sector can be an advantage, as every voice and every person needs different guidance and support. Due to many years of teaching I can diagnose quickly and precisely. As I believe that gaining voice control brings freedom, voice control is my top priority."
The fact that the singer has also traveled a lot musically in the last 15 years can be clearly heard in her multi-faceted vocals. Concerts with the original musicians from "Elvis Presley", appearances on "The Voice of Germany", live act at the Life Ball and tours through China with her bands "Gordopac" and "Melvee" have not only shaped the artist's sound, but also her authentic live performance. In 2016, she was nominated in the "Songwriter of the Year" category at the Amadeus Music Awards. She celebrated her biggest success to date in 2019 at the Veltins Arena in front of 32,000 spectators: Her single "I AM", (produced by Alexander Kahr, went straight to number 1 in the iTunes charts in Estonia and number 5 in Italy.
Mel Verez's collaborations with a wide variety of artists and musicians are extremely diverse. Particularly noteworthy are: The Teddy Blackwood Imperials (original gospel singers of Elvis Presley), Jao Caetano (Incognito percussionist), Hubert Tubbs (ex-Tower of Power), Wickerl Adam (Hallucination Company), Conrad Schrenk, Peter Dürr, Eric Papilaya, Carl Avory (UK), Shelia Michellé (USA), Rue Kostron (Christina Stürmer Band), Werner Feldgrill, Engel Mayr (Russkaja), Random Trip (Budapest),...

Mel Verez is known to many people primarily as a charismatic and multi-faceted singer with a breathtaking voice and outstanding stage shows. The fact that the trained vocalist has not only completed a degree in jazz and pop singing with distinction, but also a professional music management degree, could almost be overlooked in view of her numerous stage successes. But Mel Verez is active in many areas, impressing as a songwriter, singer and performer just as much as she knows how to work successfully as a co-producer and music manager - different tasks that do not have to be separated, but can enrich each other. It can therefore be seen as a stroke of luck when students are taught by teachers who are at home in different areas and know how to act professionally and successfully both behind the scenes and on stage.

The prerequisite is talent, the key to success is discipline and discipline is achieved through the love of what we do! (Mel Verez)

Violetta Parisini (Songwriting)

Violetta Parisini - Vienna Music Institute

Violetta Parisini is one of the best-known and most successful songwriters in Austria. Born in Vienna in 1980, she studied philosophy and theater at the University of Vienna after her schooling and graduated with honors. Parisini started her professional music career as a singer, composer, lyricist, and songwriter in 2001 with her first releases, which were followed by numerous concert performances and further productions. Between 2004 and 2015, the successful musician completed additional training in Vienna, Munich, Berlin and New York, where she intensively studied the Feldenkrais Method and Breath-Tone-Tone. Violetta Parisini lives in Vienna, is a mother of two children, and is married to the musician and music producer Sixtus Preiss.

2001 first release on Spinning Wheel rec. ("sunshine in my soul", Spinning Wheel feat. Violetta Parisini; Wolfgang Lackerschmied on vibraphone); 2002-2010 various projects and releases (as singer, composer, lyricist): Cloinc, Bela Butono, Syncope, Albanek, Mieze Medusa, and Tenderboy (with "Nicht meine Revolution" winner of the Protestsongcontest 2007) participation in the workshop with Jamie Lidell at the Donaufestival 2007, Tanz Baby!, Struboskop. "Don't stop robot"; 2001-2019 DJ in div. bars and clubs in Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Munich, Berlin, Zurich, Bad Bonn (CH), at festivals and theater premieres; Since 2010 solo project under own name, release of debut album "Giving you my heart to mend" with producer Florian Cojocaru; excellent press feedback, numerous live performances as a duo and in full band line-up since album VO; 2012 release of the second album "Open Secrets". Subsequently, further live performances as a soloist, duet, and with a larger line-up. Between 2012 and 2020 participated in various art projects for songwriting, compositions, and as a singer and choir director; including collaborations with Jazzwerkstatt Wien, Tanz Baby, Samuel Schaab, Stephanie Winter, and others. ; also 2014 curator of Popfest Wien (as curator* duo with Wolfgang Schlögl); 2020 release of the third album "Alles Bleibt", produced by Sixtus Preiss, with excellent press reviews; 2021 Musikfond funding for the next production: EP "Unter Menschen", SKE annual grant 2021; 2022 release of 5 singles and the EP "Unter Menschen".

Violetta Parisini: "Teaching a songwriting class gives me great pleasure: not only because I'm on fire for good songwriting, but also because the question of how to convey things and inspire people to engage more deeply with learning content and, not least, with themselves as artistic human beings, is what drives me. Sometimes you write a good song as if following an inspiration: it feels like a gift. But being able to receive such a gift presupposes that you know how to use language and music, that you know how to formulate what is important to you, and that you have learned important distinctions: What is poetic, and what sounds strained, how does a song stay exciting, how am I honest and hurtful without just dumping what's bothering me, how do I avoid clichés, who can I be, and who do I want to be? And who is actually my audience, how do I clarify something without explaining it? These are fine lines we dangle along, always learning, always raising new questions, never complete, never finished. How one learns to remain open to new things, to feedback and criticism, to one's own strengths and weaknesses, that's what interests me, and I believe that this preoccupation with oneself also leads to being able to write good songs, or to being given them. I want to convey this, on the one hand by means of examples that we analyze together, and on the other hand by means of writing exercises for my own songs. I want to encourage students to find their own language and to keep on digging what they can and want to say with this language. I believe students of every level can take something away from this pursuit, knowing that I, too, am always learning and certainly always changing my songwriting."

Vilkka Wahl (Guitar, Music Pedagogy)

Vilkka Wahl - Guitarre

The Finnish-born guitarist, composer and educator Vilkka Wahl completed his master's degree in jazz guitar at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz and released his first album 'Nebula' as band leader and composer with his quintet in 2017. Studied under Guido Jeszenzsky and Teemu Viinikainen as well as master classes with Peter Bernstein, John Abercrombie, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Bob Brookmeyer, Jerry Bergonzi, Jeff Ballard, Adam Nussbaum and Fred Hurst. His musical collaborations range from Jure Pukl, Severi Pyysalo, Karlheinz Miklin, Heinrich von Kalnein, Ain Agan, Manuel Dunkel, Kasperi Sarikoski to the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. A passionate musician with international stage and studio experience, Vilkka is especially appreciated for his expressive playing and refined improvisations.

As an educator, his teaching concepts are based on traditional teaching materials on the one hand, while on the other hand the focus of his teaching lies in the autonomy and self-reflection of the students. Thus, he manages to bring forth an ideal combination of tradition and innovation that encourages and empowers students to develop artistically.

In order to be able to optimally promote the necessary motivation in the acquisition of teaching content, each student is to be regarded as an independent-creative individual. For me as a teacher, it is therefore of central importance that I can understand and comprehend what my students see as the meaning of their musical experience. In this way, teaching content can be better adapted to each individual in order to promote their further development and open up new perspectives for them. (Vilkka Wahl)

Daniel Kohlmeigner (Electronic Music & Sound Design)

Daniel Kohlmeigner electronic music

Daniel Kohlmeigner is the first and only Austrian in an elite group of Ableton Certified Trainers and specialist for electronic music and sound design. As a musician, he has performed in numerous countries, such as Japan, Russia, England, France and Germany. The versatile producer achieved nationwide fame together with his congenial band colleague Gregor Ladenhauf. Under the name 'Ogris Debris', the electronic duo released the song 'Miezekatze' in 2010, which not only quickly achieved cult status in the domestic club scene, but was also played by the British broadcaster BBC and made internationally famous. In 2010 and 2017, the band was finally nominated for the Amadeus Austrian Music Award in the category Best Electronic/Dance, was in the top ten of the FM4 charts more than ten times, was awarded worldwide for their outstanding music videos and released their music on Universal Music (DE), Deutsche Grammophon (DE), Affine Records (AT), Compost Records (DE), Nervous Records (US), Brownswood Recordings (UK) and KitsunÈ (F). Regular airplay and chart placements have occurred in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Germany, among others.

In addition to his musical activities, teaching has become one of his new passions in recent years, and he has taught at the Institute for Popular Music at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, as well as at the Höhere Graphische Bundes-Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt. With the development of the new course of studies "Electronic Music & Sound Design", his idea of a showy education of a still young and constantly changing art and culture manifests itself.

gisele Jackson (Vocals)


At 12, she became a student of the local live music scene in her native Baltimore, which having already given birth to many of the first Black music greats was now welcoming fledging icons of the 70s and 80s. It was then, front and backstage, that she learned the art of entertaining and this would eventually influence her personal style. Entranced by seeing the fellow young Jackson 5 perform just a stone’s throw from her seat, further incited Gisele’s childhood inclination to sing. By the time she was a freshman studying Fine Arts on a talent scholarship at Howard University, she was fronting and gigging throughout Washington, D.C. with her first classic soul band.


 Before making Brooklyn, NY her heart and home, Gisele toured as a ‘Raylette’ with Ray Charles at the peak of his career, having since also shared many a stage with the incomparable Donna Summer and James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. She has performed in 18 countries in North America, Asia, Europe and Africa. She has performed solo at the leading jazz houses in the U.S.; she has performed as the opening act for Tito Puente, Bette Midler, The Commodores, the B-52’s and a host of other music giants across a variety of genres; she has performed at Carnegie Hall (with Kid Rock); she has performed at festivals and major openings, at numerous celebrity weddings and corporate events for many Fortune 500 companies. She has performed at Hollywood premieres and award ceremonies and has appeared on-screen singing in the film “First Wives Club” (Paramount Pictures). She was requested to perform at the Inauguration of U.S. President William H. Clinton. And so she went to sing for Bill.


 Billboard magazine called her a “diva” on the heels of her worldwide smash hit, the club classic “Love Commandments.” The single reached No. 3 on Billboard’s dance chart, catapulting Gisele into the hierarchy of House and the consciousness of the Dance Music community. This power track was on the playlists of every top House music DJ in the World. She ‘let them have it’ at legendary dance clubs Vinyl and Twilo in New York City, Billboard Live and Axis in Los Angeles, The Red Ball in Toronto, and at London’s Ministry of Sound.


 Her stage credits include Effie in ‘Dream Girls’, Bessie in the ‘Life & Death of Bessie Smith’, Evilene in ‘The Wiz’, Luttibelle in ‘Purlie’ and Frankie in ‘Carmen Jones’. Gisele has appeared on television, including a worldwide commercial campaign for Johnnie Walker. Today, Gisele is a cultural ambassador on a creative continuum that allows her to share and interpret her beloved music with audiences around the world - from New York to Norway, Morocco to Malaysia and from Barcelona to Beirut.


 American soul music is timeless. It is just a righteous music with astute vocals and funky instruments. (Gisele Jackson)

Stepan Sobanov (Composition, Media Composition)


Stepan Sobanov is an Austrian-Russian composer, arranger and music producer. He studied composition and music theory at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna in 2015-2017. Performing Arts Vienna and 2017-2022 Media Composition and Applied Music there. (graduated with excellent success; Mag. art.). With the help of master classes, e.g. at the Academy for Contemporary Music Lucerne, as well as workshops (with Georg Friedrich Haas, Alexandre Displat and the Arditti Quartett, among others) Sobanov was able to deepen his musical knowledge. The application-oriented know-how was in turn supplemented at Igudesman&Joo and MG Sound Studios in the form of internships.

In 2018, Sobanov won the Univision song contest with his song "Those Memories" (sung by Marcharie). He was a finalist in the 2020 Vienna Film Music Prize and has had the privilege of composing music for numerous films, including Vienna is like... for WienTourismus (12. million views on Youtube), The Future Art Lab of the mdw, the sci-fi short film Preserve and Additional Music for crime scene Borowski. As a composer Sobanov was allowed to write new works for the Big Band "Nouvelle Cuisine", the the Taiwanese "C-Camerata Taipei" ensemble, Christian Frohn (principal violist of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra), as well as other ensembles and solo artists.
In his arranging activities he has collaborated with artists such as Nadine Sierra, Pretty Yende, Hyung-ki Joo, Ziu He, Benedikt Dinkhauser, Christoph Zimper, Božo Paradžik, Sebastian Löschberger, Olga Peretyatko, Joji Hattori, Josef Špaček, Sarah McElravy, Alexey Stadler, Itamar Golan, Nikolai Rybin, and Polly Roel. The video game Tilt Pack (Nintendo Switch), for which he composed and produced music, won the German Computer Game Award in the category "Best Family Game" in 2020.

The modern composer brings numerous roles (arrangement, music production, (arrangement, music production, self-management...) and faces the challenge of finding his/her place on the challenge of establishing his/her place in the firmament of the musical landscape. To support the students on their compositional path through individual supervision and of technical and craft aids gives me great pleasure and is not only a professional but also a not only a professional but also a personal concern. (Stepan Sobanov)

Photo credit: Cristian Graf 

Harry tanschek (Drums, Percussion)

Harry Tanschek - schlagzeug

Harald Tanschek studied at the 'Jazz University Graz' (graduated in 1996). Equipped with a Berklee Fullscholarship Award, he moved to Boston (USA) in 1997, where he worked as a freelance musician until 2003 after his studies at the 'Berklee College of Music'. Currently residing in Vienna, the busy drummer works with projects and artists from America, Europe and Latin America such as Hal Crook, Chico Freeman, Bob Brookmeyer, George Garcone, Phil Woods, Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan, Clark Terry, Lee Konitz, Doug Johnson, Grace Kelly, Alegre Correa, Jose Ritmo y Cacao, Martin Lubenov Orkestar, Mario Vavti's RTS, BULLHORNS, Richard Oesterreicher, Joachim Mencel, Janosh Muniak, Ewa Bem, Gisele Jackson, Andy Middelton, Gina Schwarz's Jazzista, Wolfgang Puschnig and in many other various projects and can be heard on more than 50 CDs.

Prizes and Awards: Winner of the European-wide scholarship competition 'Berklee in Germany' 1997, combined with a full scholarship at the 'Berklee College of Music', USA; Winner of the 'Emanuel and Sofie Fohn Scholarship Foundation' 1997; Winner of the Scholarship of the Federal Chancellery, Section 2 - Arts Affairs 1997; Winner of the SKE Composers and Performers Competition 1998; Winner of the Scholarship of the Federal Chancellery, Section 2 - Arts Affairs 1999;

Mag. Harald Tanschek is also an active workshop lecturer, among others at the ISJA Camp in Krakow (PL) and the Summer Jazz Academy in Zeillern (Lower Austria) and is sponsored by the companies SONOR, SABIAN and VIC FIRTH. At the VMI-Vienna Music Institute he has been responsible for many years for the study department VII/percussion instruments, of which he is the director.

Veronika Sterrer (Vocals)

Sterrer Veronika - VMI

A native of Upper Austria, she is currently completing her master's degree in instrumental and vocal pedagogy for jazz and popular singing at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, where she graduated with honours in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in composition and production. Her teachers there included Patricia Simpson, Juci Janoska and Philipp Sageder. As part of an Erasmus stay, she studied for a year at the Institute of Music in Osnabrück with Sascha Wienhausen.

She writes and produces her own music for her solo project no:no and released her debut EP body memories on her own label LFNT BABY in autumn 2020. With AVEC she is on stage as a keyboardist and background singer. In other different formations she is active as a lead or background singer live and in the studio (among others: Anja Om, La Risa, Transient Lines).

The voice is probably the instrument that is closest to us, the one that is most directly connected to us. Learning to know and use your own voice in all its facets and to grow with it requires patience, determination and courage. The right technique is the foundation, the means to give us possibilities of expression, so that we can tell what we feel with our music. (Veronika Sterrer)

Helena May (Gesang)

Sixtus Preiss (Music Production)

Sixtus Preiss music production

Sixtus Preiss is a well-known Viennese musician, music producer, studio owner and microphone builder. His studio work includes commissions for Esches, Cid Rim, Simon Zöchbauer, Clemens Wenger, Violetta Parisini, Mopcut, König, 5 kHD, Schmidts Puls, Month of Sudays, Iris Electrum, Lulu Schmidt, Lylit, Koenig Leopold, Manu Mayr, Federspiel, Rom/Schärfer/Ebele as well as productions under his own name.

Engagements for theater as well as perfomances with Simon Mayr, Embracing Shitstorm, Soundball (installation) and others.

Concerts for and with Violetta Parisini, Lukas König, Peter Rom, Manu Mayr, Owen Biddle, Zach Danzinger, Jazzwerkstatt New Ensemble, Dorian Concept, T-Shit, Martin Klein and others.

Microphones are manufactured by Sixtus Preiss under the name Preiss Elektronik ( The main product of this company is the BM1 ribbon microphone for brass instruments, which can be seen and heard e.g. at Mario Rom, Martin Eberle, Martin Ptak or Simon Zöchbauer.

Julian Berann (Music Production)

Julian Berann.jpeg

Julian Berann, born 1992, is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer from Vienna with roots in R'n'B, Hip Hop and Jazz. He played a variety of musical styles from a young age and has toured with various artists in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and South Africa. Julian Berann studied at VMI from 2009-2013 and collaborates with artists* such as James Hersey, Alice Phoebe Lou, Noah Georgeson, NAROU, Soia, Che lingo, Duendita, BaketownCollective, Wolfgang Puschnig, Jon Sass, Noah Becker, Olmo & Mathilda, Dario Lessing and many more. He is also co-founder of the Austrian jazz-pop duo Gazelle & the Bear. Currently (2023) he is working with various artists as a producer, writing and recording for his solo project "lil pando".

"It will be nice to teach at the same institute that was a very important time for me in my younger years, when I studied at VMI myself. I want to accompany young musicians and producers on their way to find their own sound and approach in music." (Julian Berann)

Simon Raab (Piano)

Simon Raab - Klavier

Simon Raab studied concert performance and pedagogy at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz, graduating with honors in both studies. As an outstanding pianist, he has received numerous prizes and awards. For example, Simon Raab won the "Prima La Musica" competitions several times between 1998 and 2009, received the first prize of the "Podium Jazz Competition" in 2010, the "Newcomer Award" Linz in 2013, the "Jugendkultur Förderpreis" Hamburg in 2016, the first prize of the music contest "Lautstark" in 2017, the first prize of the "Central European Jazzcompetition" Brno in 2018, 2018 a start-up grant from the Federal Chancellery of Austria, 2019 subsidies from the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for recordings and an international concert tour with the formation "NASOM", 2020 a working grant from the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna and a talent promotion award for music from the Province of Upper Austria.

Equally impressive is his musical collaboration with various bands and musicians, such as. ProBrass, Maxi Blaha, Cara Luzia, Lylit, Yasmo & die Klangkantine, Patricia Aulitzky Jo Strauss, Lorenz Raab, Christoph Cech, Andreas Lettner, Julia Lacherstorfer, Alma, Elfi Eichinger, Andi Schreiber, Jeff Boudreaux, Hannes Löschel, Herbert Pirker, Florian Klinger, Ulrich Drechsler, Efrat Alony, Axel Zwingenberger, Oscar Klein, Alois Eberl, Oliver Steger, Judith Ferstl, Federic Robinson, Philipp Kienberger, Alex Kranabetter, Anna Anderluh, Hubert Bründlmayer, Beate Wiesinger, Vincent Pongracz, Lucia, Leena, Andi Senn, Jakob Mayer, Felipe Ramos, Julian Urabl, Cosimo Panozzo, and many more. v.m.

Simon Raab has been invited to perform at concerts and festivals in many countries. Here are some of the countries he has been invited to perform in: Germany, Switzerland, England, France, Italy, Mexico, Turkey, India, Maldives, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania or Serbia, as well as the International Jazzpianofestival Kalisz, Akbank Jazzfestival Istanbul, Festival de Morelia de Musica Mexico, Jazzfestval Saalfelden, Münsterland Jazzfestival, Most&Jazz Festival, Jazzfestival Baden, Palm Jazzfestival Gliwice, Mladi Ladi Jazzfestival Prague, Izmir International Jazzfestival, Zvuk for Stiavnica, Fara in Sabina Jazzfestival, Green Hours Jazzfestival Bucharest, Old City Jazzfestival Warsaw, Porgy & Bess Vienna, Unterfahrt Munich, The Pianoman Jazzclub New Delhi, Jazzcafé Maldives, Opus Jazzclub Budapest, Bird's Eye Basel, Alte Schmiede Vienna, and many more. v.m.

Kiko Pérez (Bass, Songwriting, Music Theory)

Kiko Bass_edited.jpg

The Madrid-born bassist, singer and songwriter completed his musical education at the 'Universidad Autónoma de Madrid' (1996-2000), the 'Rotterdams Conservatorium' in the Netherlands (2001-2005) and the 'Adolfo Slazar' Conservatory of Music in Madrid (2009-2011) and has been working as a professional music educator and freelance musician since 2005.

An extremely versatile electric and double bass player, frontman and singer who has played with countless bands, Federico Pérez Hernández excels in pop, rock and jazz as well as in rhythm & blues, funk, Latin, fusion, but also flamenco or classical music. His concert tours have taken him to numerous countries, such as Bolivia, Algeria, Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, Jordan, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Portugal, Hungary, Croatia, the Netherlands, Switzerland or the United States of America.

In addition to countless club appearances, the grandiose bassist, who also has phenomenal vocal qualities, has also played at numerous festivals such as the 'Festval de Jazz de la Paz' in Bolivia, the 'Festival Suvremene Glazb' in Croatia, the festival 'Trieste loves Jazz' in Italy, the 'Gloucester Blues Festival' in England, the 'Piazza Blues Festival' in Switzerland, the 'Jazz á Juan' in France, the 'Festival de Blues Roses' in Spain, the 'Gevarenvinkel Blues Festival' in Belgium, the 'Baja City Festival' in Hungary, the 'Swingt Festival' in Holland, the 'Verviers Fiesta City Festival' in Belgium, the 'Festival de Blues de Bastia' in Italy, the 'Festival de Músicas de Torreperogil' in Spain, the 'Aman International Music Festival' in Jordan, the 'Festival de Cazoria' in Spain or at the BBC Radio's 'Paul Jones Show' in Great Britain.

"Try not! Do. ...or do not. There is no try." (Yoda)

Suzanne Carey (Vocals, Stage Performance)


A native of Montana in the United States of America, singer and vocal coach Suzanne Carey studied at the University of Colorado, has been a vocal coach and voice teacher for about two and a half decades, and speaks perfect German in addition to her native English. She taught at Vienna Music School from 2002 to 2004, as a guest instructor at Missoula Community Theater in 2013, 2014, and 2016, at Vienna's English Theater Musical School from 2009 to 2020, and at Amadeus International School in Vienna from 2016 to 2020. As a teacher, Suzanne Carey is particularly valued for her ability to provide students with a strong technical foundation in a wide variety of musical styles, as well as her extensive knowledge and skills in stage performance to best prepare them for degree exams, concert performances, and employment as professional singers and musicians.

Suzanne Carey's extensive stage experience is based on numerous engagements at major international stages. Between 1994 and 2020 she was engaged for a whole series of productions, which were mainly performed in musical theaters: 1994 for A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (ensemble), Macky Theater USA; 1996-1997 THE BEAUTY AND THE BIEST (ensemble), Raimund Theater; 1997-2000 DANCE OF THE VAMPIRE (Magda), World Premier directed by Roman Polanski, Raimund Theater; 2001 MAN OF LAMANCHA (Aldonza), Fireside Theater USA; 2002 THE COLE PORTER STORY (Secretary), Vienna Chamber Opera; 2002 NEW YORK, RETOUR (One Woman Show), Vienna Metropol; 2003 and 2004 THE GHOST OF CANTERVILLE (Mrs. Otis), Stadttheater Klagenfurt; 2004 THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES (Ensemble), Vienna Theater Project; 2004 and 2005 I LOVE YOU, YOUR'E PERFECT, NOW CHANGE (Ensemble), Ensemble Theatre; 2006 FAME (Ms Sherman), Stadttheater Merzig; 2007 WHEN SHE DIED (OPERA), Wiener Kammeroper; 2007 DON'T DRESS FOR DINNER (Suzette), Art for Charity Vienna; 2009-2012 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (Ensemble), St. Gallen; 2010 BOEING BOEING (Stewardess), Vienna Theater Project; 2012-2013 SISTER ACT (Mother Superior), Ronacher; 2014 LOVE NEVER DIES (Ensemble), Ronacher; 2014 BAD DATES (ONE WOMAN PLAY), Vienna's English Theater; 2018 THE EFFECT (Toby Sealey), Open House Theater Vienna; 2019 and 2020 NEXT TO NORMAL (Diana), Vienna's English Theater;

Completing Suzanne Carey's career to date are several CD releases realized between 1996 and 2022. These include 1996's THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (European Premiere Cast), 1998's DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES (World Premiere Cast), 2002's ELISABETH 10th Anniversary Concert, 2002's STEVE BARTON MEMORIAL CONCERT, 2011's DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES Live 10th Anniversary Concert (Magda), 2011's SISTER ACT LIVE Vienna Cast and 2004-2022's MUSICAL MAMIS (Benefit for Young Mum initiator, organizer and contributor).

Fred Eisler (Guitar, Music Pedagogy)

Fred Eisler - VMI

Fred Eisler studied jazz guitar and jazz composition at the Berklee College of Music in Boston/USA (Two Year Certificate) and subsequently at the Jazz Department of the Musikhochschule in Graz/KUG (Diploma 1998). This was followed by a concert career as a jazz guitarist, which took him to the USA, South Africa and Brazil, in addition to performances in Austria and neighboring countries.

In 2001 he founded the pop/jazz ensemble CAMENA, where he acted as composer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader and released the albums "Servant of my Soul" (2001) and "Camena to the Fallen" (2005). CAMENA featured intensive studio and live collaborations with vocalists Anne Marie Höller, Patrizia Ferrara, as well as New York jazz/soul vocalist Dean Bowman (Screamin' Headless Torsos, John Scofield, etc.) and musical vocalists Rob Fowler and Drew Sarich.

Fred Eisler played guitar and banjo in theater productions at the Theater an der Josefstadt, the Vienna Burgtheater and the Neue Oper Wien, including the productions of "The Seven Deadly Sins"(Kurt Weil), "The Knot Garden" (Michael Tippett), "The Girl with the Matches" (Helmut Lachenmann), "The Threepenny Opera" (Kurt Weil) and "Orpheus in the Underworld" (Jacques Offenbach).

After three years of doctoral studies at the KUG, Fred Eisler received his doctorate with a dissertation on the individual musical playing approach of the Austrian jazz guitarist Karl Ratzer, with whom he also collaborated in live performances at this time. In recent years, in addition to his teaching activities at the VMI and the Musikschulverband oberes Waldviertel, he has concentrated on the further development of the "Two Hand Tapping" or "Touch Style" guitar technique of the US guitarist Stanley Jordan. Currently Fred Eisler is working in a duo project with the exceptional Croatian "Two Hand Tapping" guitarist and jazz prize winner Darko "Charlie" Jurkovic.

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Jörg Mikula (Drums, Percussion)

Jörg Mikula - schlagzeug

Jörg Mikula studied percussion at the 'Kunstuniversität Graz' (graduated with honors in 2001) and at the 'Berklee College of Music' in Boston (graduated magna cum laude in 1999). Among his most important teachers were Jamey Haddad, Ian Froman, Alex Deutsch, Dave DiCenso, Kenwood Dennard and Hal Crook. Further study trips took him to Uganda and Morocco, to which he owes important key musical experiences.

As a very flexible and unbiased musician, Jörg Mikula is active in stylistically very different areas. Be it music from the Balkans and the Middle East with the Sandy Lopicic Orkestar, Özlem Bulut, Mahan Mirarab, Daniel Zamir, Sakina, modern jazz with Tord Gustavsen, Selen Gulun, Ulrich Drechsler, Jose Saluzzi or grooves for pop acts like Marque, Effi, Gugabriel, Lakoki or Mika Vember.

At the moment his main attention is on the band 'Donauwellenreiter', which breaks new musical ground in the unusual line-up of violin/voice, cello, piano and drums.

In 2013 he released the Cd "Drumsongs" (Uni Records) with nine compositions for solo drums. His activities as a sideman are documented on over 50 CDs. On percussion he specialized in Persian Tombak and various types of frame drums.

Jörg Mikula has been teaching at the VMI-Vienna Music Institute since 2003 and is responsible for the areas of 'Central Artistic Major' of the Drum and Percussion Department as well as 'Ensemble/Live Performance'.

During my studies I was lucky to be taught by very different teachers. Some were very structured with concrete practice material for technique/style/improvisation, others worked more with freer, conceptual methods to broaden my musical horizons. I try to combine the best of both worlds in my teaching to help my students grow as drummers, but also as musicians. (Jörg Mikula)

Andreas Dorner (Electronic Music & Sound Design)


Andreas Dorner is an audio designer and artist from Lower Austria. His passion for music and technology accompanied him from childhood and eventually led him to a bachelor's degree in media technology at the University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten. There he deepened his knowledge in audio and video production, programming and technology.

After completing his bachelor's degree, Dorner decided to expand his knowledge by pursuing a master's degree in digital media production with a focus on audio design. During his studies he specialized in data stream oriented programming languages such as Max/MSP and Pure Data and is working as a freelancer in this field. His areas of expertise include DSP software development, prototyping, interactive audio, embedded audio, game audio, and sound design.

Dorner also served as a tutor for the course "Node Based Media Development" at the FH St. Pölten and participated in the development of the project "Mirage, An Interactive Experience" in Deep Space 8K at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, which is part of the museum program.

In addition to his work as an audio designer, Dorner has also been active as a live act and DJ in the field of electronic music under the pseudonym "Logic Psycho" since 2013 and in the collaborative project "Animated Zone" since 2020. In his music production he deals intensively with modular sound synthesis and always tries to combine music and technology in an innovative way.

Ulrike Regen (Music Pedagogy)

Ulrike Regen Musikpädagogik

Music studies at the 'University of Music in Vienna', instrumental teacher training (piano), teacher training for music education and history, teaching qualification examination for piano, university course for elementary music pedagogy, training as Feldenkrais teacher in the 'International Training Program' Vienna III, psychotherapeutic propaedeutic course.

Works at various Austrian schools (Lower Austrian LMW, BG/BRG, school cooperation), conducts Feldenkrais courses, musical direction and participation in theater productions and concert performances, among others in piano duo with Adrian Cox.

Music should touch and move. The playful lightness and clarity of a performance is her greatest gift. As a teacher, it is important to be flexible and open to the ever-changing abilities and interests of students. They are mentors who always make new things possible. The task of teaching is to lead the students to forget themselves, to immerse themselves completely in the music and still know what they are doing. (Ulrike Regen)

Dusan Novakov (Drums)

Dusan Novakov - schlagzeug

Dusan Novakov, born in 1970 in Pancevo/Serbia, graduated from the International Jazz Seminar in Groznjan between 1986 and 1988 under the direction of Reggie Workman. The following year the drummer moved to Austria to study at the 'University of Music and Performing Arts' in Graz. After graduating in 1998, Dusan Novakov moved to the Netherlands to study percussion at the 'University of Arts in Rotterdam'.

Collaboration with Mark Murphy, Oliver Lakee, George Cables, John Marshall, Dick Oatts, Don Menza, Kirk Lightsey, Michelle Hendricks, Toninho Horta, Dusko Gojkovic, Valery Ponomarev, Andi Bey, Bread Lealy, Karl Ratzer, Timna Brauer and Elias Meiri Ensemble, Fernando Correa, Fritz Pauer, Big Band Graz, Frank Lacy, Georgy Porter, Paul Zauner, Andy Middleton and others. Dusan Novakov is a founding member of the trio 'Triple Ace' with Uli Langthaler (bass) and Oliver Kent (piano).

Since 1991 Dusan Novakov has been performing at international jazz festivals and performing with outstanding ensembles. Previous concert tours have taken the busy drummer, in addition to numerous concerts in Austria and Germany, to the USA, China, South Africa, Israel, Italy, France, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Hungary, Estonia, Poland or the Netherlands.

As a main teacher for drums and percussion Dusan Novakov has been teaching at the VMI-Vienna Music Institute since 2005.

Florin Gorgos (Composition, Media Composition)


Florin Gorgos is a composer, pianist, and music producer. Tracing his origins to Moldova, he completed his degree in Media Composition and Applied Music at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna in 2023. His music has been performed at venues such as Muth, Budapest Music Center, Brick-15, and Porgy & Bess Vienna, among others. His passion for film music has led to collaborations on an international level, with excerpts of his work featured in venues such as Burgkino Vienna, Dotdotdot Festival Vienna, Thalmässing Film Festival in Germany,  Astra Film Festival in Romania, as well as at the Kellen Gallery in New York. Among his most recent projects, he released an EP with Sounds of Servus, recorded a fully symphonic production at Synchron Stage with RedBull Media House, composed the music for an E. Jelinek Theater Piece having its Austrian premiere in TheaterArche, and completed the music for an upcoming feature film (MD). Presently immersed in the music industry, he persistently hones his unique sonic identity, channeling narratives and emotions through his compositions.


Selection of Awards and scholarships: 2016 A.Zirra International Composition Competition - 1st prize for the Ensemble Piece Iffy Phase; 2018 Scholarship from Czibulka - Foundation; 2021 Spheres of a Genius - honoring L. Bernstein - Composition Competition - 2nd prize for the Orchestral Piece Vivid Interactions; 2022 1st prize of the Univision Song-Contest organized by MDW; 2023 Scholarship from Ernst von Siemens; 2023 Finalist in the Bruckner 2024 Soundlogo Contest; 2023 Finalist in the Austrian Composers Young Jazz Award.

Martina Beer (Scientific work)


Diploma and teacher training studies at the University of Vienna in German Philology (major in German as a Foreign and Second Language), as well as Sports Science and Physical Education. During her studies she was a language assistant in Great Britain at the Huntington School in York (GB) as well as a German lecturer at the Instituto Intercultural in Mendoza (Argentina). Grant from the BMWFK to conduct scientific research at the Cultural Institute in London as part of the diploma thesis.

Her love of music - shaped by a musical environment from childhood on - and her experience as a violinist and orchestra musician - led Martina Beer to the artist agency Dr. Raab & Dr. Böhm after graduation, where she worked as an artist mediator in the concert department from 1998-2000. Teaching activities at AHS schools in Vienna and Lower Austria (e.g. RG of the Vienna Boys Choir; Piaristengymnasium Vienna; BG Baden Frauengasse) as well as language trainer for German as a foreign language in various language institutes.

Since 2015, Martina Beer has headed the International Office at the VMI and coordinates the international mobility programs. Martina Beer also teaches the supplementary subject "Introduction to Scientific Work" and heads the German course for students whose first language is not German at the VMI.

Johannes Probst (Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Trombone)

Johannes Probst trompete

Born 1980 in Linz, studied trumpet and pedagogy at the 'Bruckner Conservatorium' with Peter Tuscher and Allan Praskin, then master studies jazz trumpet at the 'Koninklijk Conservatorium' in The Hague and at the 'Codarts Conservatorium' in Rotterdam with Ack van Rooyen, Jarmo Hoogendijk, Eric Vloeimans, John Ruocco and Simon Rigter.

Performances and collaborations with Doug Hammond, Dwight Adams, Gary Smulyan, Barry Harris, Allan Praskin, Lee Konitz, Ack van Rooyen, Jimmy Halperin, Abraham Burton, Thomas Gansch, Wolfi Rainer, Rein deGraaff Trio, Simon Rigter, Peter Beets, Rose Bartussek Quartet, Dick Lozon, Peter Massink, Matthias Pichler, Together, Jazzmania Big Band, Robert Bachner Big Band, Hot Box Girls, Sugar Daisy's Hot Club.

Teaching music is a journey that students and teachers embark on together. My role is to help students express themselves musically in their own individual way. I believe that there is a very personal musicality in each person that develops in a process without rigid teaching methods. (Johannes Probst)

Daniel Castoral (Composition, Media Composition)

Daniel Castoral.jpeg

Daniel Castoral is a composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist. Born in 1993 in St. Pölten, he started learning the violin at the age of 8, soon after also piano, percussion and singing. He has always found the harmony of different instruments particularly exciting, so his path soon led to composing, and at the age of 15 he wrote his first work for string orchestra. He is currently studying media composition and applied music at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and will graduate in October 2023 with a master's degree. In his ongoing bachelor studies in teaching ME and IME with the subjects singing and percussion popular music, he passed the final artistic exams in 2022 with Very Good. His professors included Iris ter Schiphorst, Reinhard Karger, Dietmar Schermann, Wolfgang Suppan, Christian Mühlbacher, Martin Kreiner in composition, Alexander Dostal in percussion and Elke Nagl in voice. Daniel Castoral has been gaining teaching experience at schools for many years in the context of internships in teacher training courses and as a workshop leader for media composition.

For the past two years he has been part of the SommerMusikWoche at the Vienna Konzerthaus as a workshop assistant. In addition, he continues to pursue his passion of teaching as a private teacher of percussion, music theory, ear training and composition. In master classes and workshops with Simon Steen-Andersen, Annette Focks, Carola Bauckholt and Wolfgang Mitterer, among others, he was able to deepen his compositional knowledge in various directions. He gained know-how as an arranger by working on a piano reduction of the opera "Unsere Kinder der Nacht" by Helmut Jasbar for the Landesthater Linz and by transcribing the album "Weit weg" by Cobario for the music publisher Doblinger. In 2017 Daniel Castoral won the composition competition for the MDW Fanfare, which was premiered in the golden hall of the Musikverein.

In the piano trio category, his "Phantasy on Status Quo" achieved first prize at the Haydn Composition Competition in 2020. With purely sample-based music, the 30-minute short film "Naked Men in the Forest" won numerous international awards in addition to a nomination for the 2022 Austrian Film Prize. The feature-length film "WANDER", for which he composed about 45 minutes of music, most of which he realized by recording his own voice as well as acoustic instruments, premiered at the Diagonale in 2022. His musical activities as a violinist (among others, Youth Symphony Orchestra of Lower Austria, Herzogenburg Symphony Orchestra), singer (solo and in choirs) as well as keyboardist and drummer in the pop and rock formations Schikaneder, ILVI and SYCA (2013 to 2018) are of great importance for his compositional work.

Oliver Steger (Bass)

Oliver Steger - VMI

Oliver Steger, born in 1968, studied jazz double bass in Vienna and has been working as a freelance bassist, composer and producer since 1997. In 2005 he won the Amadeus Award with the nu-jazz formation 'Cafe Drechsler'. Oliver Steger is also the author (text and music) of five children's books with a focus on jazz, and his debut novel 'Jazz und Frieden' (book and CD) was published in May 2016.

His current band projects include S.O.D.A., Lil Maxine, Zoe, Triotonic, Salah Ammo Quartet or Cafe Drechsler.

For improvising musicians who are in the groove, reaching a calm time pulse while playing is an aha experience that opens ears and hearts. Only then does the previously practiced material fill with life and musicality. I have always wondered why various soloists sound better when accompanied by Marc Johnson or Charlie Haden, for example. Well, this Pulse story is, in my opinion, an answer to that question: bass on top! (Oliver Steger)

Stepan Flagar (Saxophone, Clarinet, Music Pedagogy)

Stepan Flagar VMI

Czech saxophonist Stepan Flagar has been living in Austria since 2014, where he graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Anton Bruckner Private University in 2019 and began his Master's studies in the same year. In his career so far, he has participated in a wide variety of ensembles of different musical genres. Concerts in Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Romania, France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Turkey, India or Maldives are among his references as well as numerous awards (Jazz Fruit 2014, European Jazz Competition 2015, Anděl 2017, Krokus Jazz Festiwal '14 '15 '16 '21, Central European Jazz Competition 2018, Central European Jazz Showcase 2021, NASOM, Öst.MusikFonds). In 2019 Stepan Flagar was chosen by the Czech radio station 'Český Rozhlas' as a member of the Euroradio Jazz Orchestra conducted by Christoph Cech. Meanwhile, the busy saxophonist and composer lives in Vienna and collaborates with numerous musicians* and ensembles.

Artistic activities: Purple is the Color, 11 Podob lásky, Beránci a Vlci, HuB5, C(z)ech Quartet, onQ Festival, Shake Stew, pol. D, Hot Brew, Lorenz Raab Septett, Ostrich Quartet, Heart of Dixie, Cotatcha Orchestra, Vladimir Javorský, Wolfgang Puschnig, Maria Hofstätter, Klaus Dickbauer, Tijn Wybenga, Polykleitos Dialog, Guido Mancusi, Peter Herbert, Jim Black, Phillip Nykrin, Georg Vogel, Cotatcha Orchestra, Herbert Pirker, Vladimir Kostadinovic Christopher Pawluk, Emil Viklický, Astrid Wiesinger, Judith Ferstl, Heart of Dixie, Gina Schwarz, Renald Deppe, Vinicius Ciccone Cajado, Andreas Lettner, Hannes Löschel, Renato Chicco, Ralph Mothwurf, Tobias Vedovelli, Martin Eberle, Yasmo & die Klangkantine. In addition, Stepan Flagar has been a soloist of the ABPU Symphony Orchestra and has cooperated with numerous other musicians* and ensembles of the European jazz scene.

"My honest joy is when I see my students feel their own progress or discover something new. In my teaching work so far, I have discovered for myself that I feel a certain naturalness when teaching. Maybe that comes from the fact that for me it's not the level but the interest and enthusiasm that matters."  (Stepan Flagar)

Leon Tomic (Piano)

Leon Tomic  Vienna Musi Institute

Leon Tomic first completed a preparatory course in piano at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg and then studied concert piano and instrumental pedagogy at the VMI-Vienna Music Institute. Tomic completed both courses with excellent results in 2020 before pursuing a master's degree in songwriting in London at the ICMP-Institute of Contemporary Music Performance - a partner school of VMI. He was awarded the academic degree of Master of Arts by the University of East London in October 2021. 

Between 2012 and 2016, Leon Tomic won numerous first prizes at the national competition "Prima la Musica" as a soloist and in trio. Performances with trio and orchestra in Austria and Germany followed, where Tomic shone with piano concertos by Schumann and Rachmaninov. Another highlight of his pianistic concert activity took place in the trio at the "Stellenbosch International Chamber Festival" in South Africa. Performances as a jazz duo with numerous singers followed in Austria, Germany, Poland and England.

Leon Tomic has recorded three albums under his own name so far, featuring both original compositions by the pianist and music from the albums of the Vienna Bar Pianists: Yes it is, Homecoming and Moonchild. In addition, Leon Tomic has been and still is active as a keyboardist in numerous bands, such as Matho, Pure Chlorine, Leon and Band and others. As a studio musician and music producer he works for the label "Rhythm and Poetry".

A great teacher is one who can strike sparks out of his students, sparks on which their enthusiasm for music - or whatever they are studying - eventually catches fire. (Leonard Bernstein)

Willi Landl (Vocals, Songwriting)

Willi Landl - VMI

Born in Upper Austria, he studied singing and vocal pedagogy at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz and then lived in Hamburg for five years. Since then he has been an active singer and songwriter in the German-speaking world, and to date has released four recordings under his own name. He impresses with inimitable erratic, at the same time touching and poetic word pictures, which combine to love hymns, fantasy dreams and self-portraits in song form, with which he succeeds in airplay on FM4 as well as on Ö1.


Willi Landl's versatile musical interests have led to a wide variety of collaborations: e.g. a theater piece with the rock band Kreisky, projects with the Jazzwerkstatt Wien, commissioned composer for choir and theater, Hip Hop, Free Impro and Classical Jazz with important representatives of the Viennese scene. Recently he also shows his chansonnier qualities, among others as Georg Kreisler interpreter.


Willi Landl is a sought-after vocal teacher and has previously taught at various conservatories in Hamburg and Vienna as well as at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz.

Move your ass and your mind will follow. (Willi Landl)

Raphael Käfer (Guitar)

Raphael Kaefer - VMI

Raphael Käfer studied jazz guitar in Klagenfurt, Cologne, Hamburg and Vienna and completed his education with a master's degree in jazz guitar as well as instrumental and vocal pedagogy (IGP) - both with distinction. He complemented his studies with many workshops with international greats such as Lage Lund, Jonathan Kreisberg, Barry Harris, John Ellis, Rory Stuart, Aaron Goldberg, Chris Cheek, Scott Robinson or Kevin Hays.

As a musician Raphael Käfer can look back on numerous concerts in Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and Austria as well as various studio activities and publications. Active in various formations, he also appears again and again with his own projects, such as the "Raphael Käfer Quintet" or the "Raphael Käfer Costellation Project". His musical field is mainly jazz, jazz rock/fusion and groove, whereby openness towards traditional and new developments as well as the attempt to combine both play a major role in his musical work. Musically as well as personally, Raphael Käfer therefore pursues the goal of constant further development.

Raphael Käfer's teaching activities are characterized by two principles: on the one hand, the teaching of fundamentals that are essential for the further development of musicians and are intended to provide a deeper understanding of one's own instrument, musical listening, rhythm, timing, improvisation and technique; and on the other hand, the approach to individual goals and needs, which is intended to enable students to pursue their own goals and to further develop what they have learned individually and with pleasure.

Wolfgang Seligo (Klavier)

Wolfgang Seligo - klavier

Pianist and composer Wolfgang Seligo is very much at home in many divergent musical styles. His original music is influenced by jazz, rock, and modern classical music and is driven by a funky and powerful sound from the piano. In various formations, but also solo, he brought his work onto the stage in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the United States. He gave concerts in Chicago and Washington, the Forbidden City of Peking, the Red Square of Moscow, Morocco, Senegal, Turkey, Poland, and in Tehran, Rome, Praha, Vienna, Budapest, Ljubljana, and many other locations.

After jazz studies in Vienna, Wolfgang Seligo gathered his first experiences as a composer, producer, and musician in the early 1990s. In addition to his participation in various ensembles in the Viennese scene, he co-founded together with Dhafer Yousseff and Gerhard Reiter the ethnic jazz project "Ziryab" (Extraplatte) which toured in Austria and Germany. He also pursued other activities, including individual activities as a composer and a co-producer for some regional music projects (Ariola BMG, EMI) and working as an advertising and media composer for radio, TV, and cinema. But since around 2000, Wolfgang Seligo has been dedicating himself to concert piano music in combination with jazz, rock improvised music, and elements of classical music and toured with his music throughout Europe and Asia as well as Africa and the United States. The liaison of improvised music with classical and contemporary classical music plays a predominant position in the compositions of Wolfgang Seligo. Since 2007 Seligo has been playing piano solo concerts and concerts with classical instrumentation (e.g. cello) and improvisation playing a significant role. This was followed by some music releases ("Alternative Jazz Piano", "Jazz Trio", "Wolfgang Seligo Jazz Trio live in Ljubljana" ) and the solo piano work "Alternative Jazz Piano",  for jazz pianists and classically trained pianists.
Commissioned composition for the 70th birthday of the Volkshochschule Hietzing, Vienna 2017/2018, a performance of the composition "Sophie" took place on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Franz Lehar Festival in Bad Ischl. Since 2020, he has been chairman of the jazz composition section of the Austrian Composers Association (formerly the Composers' Association) and initiated the Austrian Composers Young Jazz Award competition, which has been taking place since 2022.

VMI Guest lecturers (Excerpt 1999-2024)

Alexander Lackner
Mel Verez
Conrad Schrenk
Stepan Sobanov
Violetta Parisini
Vilkka Wahl
Daniel Kohlmeigner
Helena May
Harry Tanschek
Jisele Jackson
Veronika Sterrer
Sixtus Preiss
Julian Berann
Simon Raab
Kiko Perez
Suzanne Carey
Fred Eisler
Jörg Mikula
Andreas Dorner
Ulrike Regen
Dusan Novakov
Florin Grogos
Martina Beer
Johanes Probst
Daniel Castoral
Oliver Steger
Stepan Flagar
Leon Tomic
Willi Landl
Raphael Käfer
Wolfgang Seligo
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