Born: January 23rd, 1930, Graz (Austria)
Died: September 12th, 2018, Graz (Austria)
Erich Kleinschuster studied for the bar and even wrote a thesis; moreover, he also completed piano and trombone courses at the conservatory. As a trombonist, he played in the orchestras of Johannes Fehring, Friedrich Gulda, Kenny Clarke, and Peter Herbolzheimer. In 1966, he founded a jazz sextet. In 1969, he was the founder of the jazz department at the Vienna Conservatory. From 1971 to 1981, Kleinschuster was Head of Entertainment at ORF, the Austrian broadcaster and moreover led the ORF Big Band until its dissolution in 1981. Between 1981 and 1996, he was a professor at the Music University in Graz, teaching improvisation. From 1998 onwards, he has been one of the organizers of a festival called the Grazer Jazz Sommer.
During his days as Head of Entertainment at ORF, Kleinschuster twice conducted an Austrian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest: ‘Falter im Wind’ by the Milestones in 1972 and ‘My little world’ by Waterloo & Robinson in 1976. Both songs finished fifth. In the years in between, Austria did not participate in the festival.
In due course, a more extensive biography of Erich Kleinschuster will be published on this website
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