Prof. Planyavsky, Vienna Philharmonic
Prof Planyavsky Vienna Philharmonic
Here comes another great collectible. I love those passports that cover not only passport history but also have a vivid background. Meet Professor Alfred Planyavsky, an Austrian double-bassist and music historian.
Born in Vienna in 1924, Planyavsky was a member of the boys’ choir Wiener Sängerknaben between 1933 and 1938. In 1946, he began studying as a tenor and double bass player at the Vienna Academy of Music. After seven years at the Academy, he joined the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in 1954. He was later a member of the world-famous Vienna State Opera Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle. He has also been a double bass instructor for members of the Wiener Sängerknaben.1941-1946 Soldier and prisoner of war in the USA. Leader and tenor soloist of a prisoner of a war church choir.
Planyavsky conducted significant research into the history of double bass and Viennese music. His first major work was Geschichte des Kontrabasses (On the History of the Double Bass), first published in 1970 with a revised edition in 1984. This was followed by his 1989 volume Der Barock-Kontrabass Violone, which covered the history of the violone as a bass instrument in the Baroque era. It was issued in English translation as The Baroque Double Bass Violone and has been well received by critics. The Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society described his book, along with those of Brun and Elgar, as “pioneering” works on the evolution of the double bass but stated that the books are heavily reliant upon secondary sources. Prof Planyavsky Vienna Philharmonic
He received the Golden Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria and the state of Vienna.
In addition to his books, Planyavsky wrote many articles for the journals Österreichische Musikzeitschrift and Das Orchester. In 1974 he began a collection of documents related to the double bass, called Kontrabass-Archiv (Double Bass Archive), and in 1986 donated it to the music collection of the Austrian National Library. His son Peter Planyavsky is an organist and composer. Planyavsky died on 18 June 2013 at age 89.
His Austrian passport from 1972 is well traveled. It states as occupation “Member of the Vienna Philharmonic,” which brings him to Greece, South Korea, United Kingdom, Japan, East Germany (GDR), France, CSSR, Sweden, the USA, and Poland.
The Japanese visas are granted “for performance.” The USA visa was at the request of the Columbia Artist Management in New York. Founded in 1930, the agency was a leading force of artist management in the classical music industry. Its recent roster included violinists Gidon Kremer, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Philippe Quint, Vadim Repin, conductors Seiji Ozawa, Valery Gergiev, and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, and VC Artists Charles Yang, Emmanuel Tjeknavorian and Paul Huang.
Columbia Artists previously represented luminary conductors, including Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein and pianists Vladimir Horowitz. Columbia Artists Management, Inc. announced in August 2020 that it would cease all operations immediately due to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.