Official website of the Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival
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Official website of the Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival
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Official website of the Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival

The “Original Tiroler Kaiserjägermusik” Band

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Years of performances

The «Original Tiroler Kaiserjägermusik» Band

Due to the forthcoming visit of Emperor Franz I of Austria in Innsbruck, First Lieutenant Johann Baptist Gänsbacher, musician and composer, formed a military music band in 1815, consisting of 14 men in the usual bandl instrumentation of that time with contra-bassoon. In 1816, Emperor Franz I of Austria ordered the renaming of the Tyrolean military unit, the elite corps of the monarchy, in «Kaiserjäger». In course of time, this military music band had expanded to a complete «Turkish» music band with about 30 musicians. Organizationally, such music bands were not foreseen in the system; the War-Council of the Imperial Court but tacitly approved them. In 1828, the music bands were officially allowed. In 1847, the regimental band of the «Tyrolean Kaiserjäger» was dissolved for the first time.

After several reorganisations and regrouping the existing Tyrolean Hunter-Regiment «Emperor», in 1985, it was converted in 4 Tyrolean «Kaiserjäger»-Regiments, each of the 4 ones got a military music band in the same instrumentation as an infantry-regiment music band. The only difference of the bands were their uniforms, they wore the «Hunter»-uniform.

Under the direction of famous conductors such as Karl MÜHLBERGER, Gustav MAHR, Rudolf Achleitner they provided excellent musical performances including beautiful military music marches.

The music composition «Kaiserjäger-March», composed by Karl Mühlberger, brought it to special popularity. It became one of the most famous old-Austrian military music marches.

In 1972 the «Original Tiroler Kaiserjägermusik» — band was founded in its present form by Lieutenant Colonel Professor Siegfried SOMMA. After retirement as Military Band Conductor of the Military Music Band TYROL, he intended to revive the tradition of the «Kaiserjäger»-music bands. The flag of the historic Wind Band bears the double-eagle of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy.

The rehearsals began and the number of members quickly rose to 80 persons, mainly former military band musicians. In November 1972, the first record was produced, and on March 31st, 1973, the large band played the first concert in the city of Innsbruck.

Professor Siegfried Somma conducted the band until 1990, followed by Professor Michael Stern (1991–1992) and Military Music Band Conductor Lieutenant Colonel Professor Erich Hendl (1993).

Since 1994, Military Music Band Conductor Colonel Professor Hannes Apfolterer is the musical director and conductor of the «Original Tiroler Kaiserjägermusik» — Band.

The requirement profile of the musicians is very high and anyone who intends to become a member of this band is to complete one year of probation after successfully valuated audition. The conductor is proud that many outstanding musicians of this band are music teachers, excellent soloists and former military musicians. A considerable number of musicians acting in the band as instrumental musicians are or have been conductors of known civilian brass bands additionally.

This band enjoys highest reputation not only as Ambassador and Representative of the Image of Austria, but also for keeping Austria’s historic military tradition alive, and by maintaining the Austrian cultural heritage.

Years of performances of the collective: