Iztok Hrastnik
Photo: Filip Waldmann

Hrastnik Iztok

Iztok Hrastnik is a passionate and acclaimed double bass player, and is the first Slovenian in 100 years to appear in a New Year concert of the Vienna Philharmonic and to become a Vienna Philharmonic member.

He graduated from the Ljubljana Academy of Music and even as a student received a number of awards. In the competition of young Slovenian musicians and ballet dancers, he won first place three times, and he also won in the Semmering and ITHAKA competitions.

He has worked in the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra. Early on in his career he took a major step by becoming a member of the Vienna Philharmonic, one of the elite and leading orchestras of the world. It is a serious challenge to arrive at the title of Vienna Philharmonic member.

To begin with you need an invitation, then you need to pass the pre-audition and audition at the Vienna State Opera, followed by a three-year trial period with the orchestra, and only then do you acquire the title. It is a permanent and very active position. Although it is the same orchestra, it has two employers. This means Iztok plays at the Vienna State Opera and also in Philharmonic projects, including concerts in Vienna, numerous guest appearances and tours in Europe and beyond. The orchestra has 150 members. Today its ranks include another Slovenian, violinist Petra Kovačič.

A curious feature of Iztok Hrastnik is that before he came to Vienna, he had never played in an opera house, and now he is very grateful for it. He gains inspiration from appearing in various chamber groups and from his countless hobbies.