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Colonel Prof. Bernhard Heher

Chief of Austrian Military Music

The 1st Guard Bandmaster

Commandant Music NCO Training

Clarinetist, Music Educator

Effective February 16, 2009, Colonel Bernhard Heher was appointed by the Chief of General Staff, General Edmund ENTACHER, as head and thus "musical superior" - both in musical and military-operational terms - of the "Austrian Military Music Service".  Bernhard Heher already leads the Guard Music Band in Vienna since December 2001 as its musical director and commander, and now just with the additional function as the main responsible person of all 9 military music bands of Austria.

Colonel Bernhard Heher was born on 29. 12. 1962 in Puchberg am Schneeberg. He received his first musical education in childhood from his grandfather (clarinet) and in the music school Puchberg. Heher enjoyed his school education in Puchberg (elementary and secondary school) and Wr. Neustadt (HAS). In 1979 he began studying the clarinet with Prof. HAJEK at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. In 1981 Heher joined the Guard Music Vienna. After his basic military service followed the obligation as a time soldier with following training to the music sergeant and register leader. After completing his training as a music sergeant, he worked as a register leader and solo clarinetist. In 1984 he began his regular studies of "instrumental and vocal pedagogy with clarinet as main subject" with Prof. Roger SALANDER at the Conservatory of the City of Vienna. He completed this study in 1990 with the "state maturity examination". In 1994 followed the training as a military bandmaster. At the same time he underwent training of Music Band Master with General Music Director Prof. Franz BAUER-THEUSSL (at Vienna Volksoper) while he also completed the mandatory training as a military officer in LINZ-EBELSBERG.

After passing the military bandmaster exam, he was transferred to the Military Music TIROL in the position of 2nd bandmaster. In 1997 he returned to the Guard Music Vienna as 2nd Band Master and head of music education. In 1998 he began his studies of instrumental pedagogy with Prof. Mag. KRAXBERGER and Prof. FANKHAUSER at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. 2001 followed the graduation to "Master of Art" with the thesis topic "Prof. Franz Bauer-Theussl - a conductor's life". With effect from December 1st, 2001 Colonel Mag. Heher was appointed as 1st Guard Conductor.

Since the Guard Music as a representative orchestra of the Austrian Armed Forces is in the spotlight at state receptions and festivities of the Republic of Austria, it is very important to the Guard Kapellmeister that "his" military music in military appearance, as well as in the correct interpretation of the service music always presents itself as a showcase orchestra to the public. As Chief Conductor of the Johann Strauss Society VIENNA, Colonel Mag. HEHER is naturally committed to the cultivation of Viennese music (J. Strauss and his contemporaries). In this function there is a close artistic cooperation with the "Classical Viennese Operetta Ensemble" under the direction of the President of the Johann Strauss Society VIENNA, Prof. Mag. Peter WIDHOLZ.


Likewise, Mag. HEHER has been very committed to the maintenance of the string orchestra at the Gardemusik, as it is permanently used and warmly welcomed at the various renowned and famous ball events in VIENNA. Furthermore, with this orchestra the Viennese music tradition is maintained in various concerts. In this orchestra music students, who play a string instrument, have the possibility to do their presence service with the Gardemusik in the duration of 6 months and can use this time insofar meaningfully, since they can learn and profit very much, particularly over the interpretation of "Viennese music", from colonel Professor HEHER.


Likewise, Prof. Mag. HEHER is also very open to modern symphonic wind music and therefore always plays music works by contemporary composers in his concerts.


 Also as a welcome guest conductor with various established orchestras at home and abroad, Colonel Mag. HEHER is constantly striving to pass on his knowledge about the correct interpretation of Viennese music. In the brass band association, Colonel HEHER is often active as a juror at various music competitions and as a lecturer at various seminars throughout Austria!


Furthermore, Colonel Prof. HEHER is also Secretary General and Chief Conductor of the Vienna Johann Strauss Society and thus also works intensively with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.


Not to be left unmentioned is the permanent cooperation with renowned singers (among others Ildiko Raimondi, Herbert Lippert, as well as the Vienna Boys Choir) in various concert projects.


In November 2018, Colonel Prof. Mag. Bernhard HEHER was awarded the professional title of "Professor" by the Federal Minister of the BMLV.


Since 2019, the military music leadership of the Sultanate of Oman has been sending four to six people per year to Vienna for specialized training in wind band conducting and music theory as well as composition for guard music. This lived cooperation with the military music from Oman is very much supported and cultivated by Colonel Heher. The final certificate for the special training in Guard Music is considered a full training and entitles the holder to lead an orchestra in the Omani armed forces. The Guard Music has also been invited to Oman and the contacts have become very close in the meantime.


On October 29th, 2021, Colonel Bernhard Heher received the "Golden Johann Strauss" of the Johann Strauss Society at the Marchfelderhof. So far, this special prize has only been awarded seven times, including to prominent personalities such as Renate Holm, Otto Schenk, Riccardo Muti and Zubin Mehta. Now, Colonel Bernhard Heher may also join the ranks of famous musicians.

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