Born: November 10th, 1932, Vienna (Austria)
Richard Österreicher studied the guitar and piano at the Vienna Conservatory. He played in various orchestras, amongst which that of Willy Fantel in the Wörthersee Castle. He worked extensively as a studio arranger for artists such as Marianne Mendt. In 1972, he became a member of the ORF Big Band of Erich Kleinschuster; later, he frequently conducted this ensemble as well. In the 1970s, Österreicher composed music for many ORF television programmes and wrote orchestrations for the ORF Big Band. In 1981, Österreicher founded his own Richard Österreicher Big Band, which performed in several TV shows and featured in recording sessions with artists such as Udo Jürgens, José Carreras, and Peter Alexander. Besides his work as a conductor, Richard Österreicher is best known in jazz circles for his performances as a mouthorgan soloist; he worked with jazz legends including Paul Kuhn, Art Farmer, and Peter Herbolzheimer.
Richard Österreicher conducted no fewer than twelve Austrian Eurovision Song Contest entries between 1978 and 1991, including ‘Kinder dieser Welt’ by Gary Lux (1985) and ‘Keine Mauern mehr’ by Simone (1990); with this impressive number of participations, he is one of the most experienced conductors in the contest. To most of these songs, he wrote the orchestration himself. Moreover, Österreicher also co-arranged the 1976 Austrian entry ‘My little world’, which was conducted by Erich Kleinschuster.
In due course, a more extensive biography of Richard Österreicher will be published on this website
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