History and Founding

Die Regimentsmusik 1888 vor dem Kursalon Salzburg
Die Regimentsmusik vor dem Salzburger Kursalon (1888)

Events leading to the orchestra's foundation in 1999

The History of the old k.u.k. regimental band ended in November 1918 when the regiment was disbanded after World War I. A number of memorabilia linked to the old band are still displayed in the regimental museum within the fortress of Hohensalzburg. Among these there is a sash and a staff of the drum major, as well as a marching drum and signal trumpet. The latter was donated to the band by the city and crownland of Salzburg in 1916 when celebrating their having been part of Austria for 100 years.

A commemorative brochure issued on the occasion of 75 years of existence of the Rainerbund association states that there already was a "Rainer" wind band between the two World Wars. In 1935, today's "Stadtmusikkapelle" (one of the most renowned wind bands of the city) looked after the musical heritage.   Under its conductor Adolf Mayer - well known since the days of the old regimental band - the orchestra performed frequently every year in the traditional old uniform. Since 1945 there have also been a number of attempts to revive the band. Among others, public official and former Rainer regiment member Hanns Hacker, bearer of high and exceptional honorary distinctions, tried in vain to do so. 

The successful revival of an orchestra dedicated to the old regiment's musical tradition was triggered by Colonel Sepp Schalber having to return the regimental banner to Salzburg's military command in 1999, following the dissolution of his unit, the last in the Austrian army unit upholding the traditon of IR 59. Prof. Mag. Dr. H. Glaser and the band's first conductor Paul Hofbauer discussed the project in Monaco during a concert tour to the Côte d'Azur with one of Salzburg's other bands.

Reviving the band would have been impossible without the ideational and above all also financial support by the city and province of Salzburg. We are also most indebted to the banking organisation of Raiffeisenverband Salzburg. It has been a loyal and indispensable partner since the very beginning.

Our orchestra is dedicated to this centuries-old tradition. This is manifested by our historical uniform, worn up to 1908. In addition, the musical creations of the second half of the 19th and early 20th century are central to our repertoire. In this sense we follow similar goals as a handful of other Austrian traditional wind bands, such as the "Original Tiroler Kaiserjägermusik", the "Viennese Deutschmeister" orchestras, the "Khevenhüller" band of Carinthia and the "84er-Regimentskapelle" of Krems in Lower Austria. 

Tradition is not to preserve the ashes but to pass on the flame
(Sir Thomas More, Benjamin Franklin, John XXIII,
Gustav Mahler, Franz Cardinal König, et al.)