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Klaus-Felix Laczika

Head of Institute for Music Medicine


Klaus-Felix Laczika feels equally at home in intensive care units and on concert stages, which makes him an ideal ambassador for the interdisciplinary approach in the sector of music medicine with a focus on Arts for Health.

He is not only active in his main profession as an internist in the sector of intensive care medicine (many years at the University Hospital AKH Vienna, especially at the intensive care unit 13i2), palliative medicine and music medicine, but also performs regularly as a pianist, e.g. with works by W.A. Mozart or A. Piazzolla, he has studied conducting with Sergiu Celibidache, among others, and in 1997 he founded the internationally renowned festival "St. Florianer Brucknertage", of which he is still the artistic director.

Since 2019 he holds an "Honorary Professorship" at the non-profit Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and is a member of the working groups "History of Medicine" & "Medical Humanities" at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Together with Marcus Ratka, he founded the Research Institute for Music Medicine at JAM MUSIC LAB Private University, which he directs (responsible for the Department of Medicine) together with Oliver Peter Graber (Department of Music). Laczika's main focus at the sector of Arts for Health, Music Medicine and Artistic Research is on internistic questions (such as HRV - heart rate variability measurement) in the following areas: Respiration and Music, Clinical Use of Music in Intensive Care Units, "Noise Exposure and Silence in Intensive Care Units," "Humanization of Intensive Care Medicine," Music in Palliative Care, and the Life and Work of Anton Bruckner.

He has a long-standing scientific-artistic collaboration with Graber, among other things within the framework of the Interdisciplinary Platform for Chronobiological Research (IPCF) of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna at the intensive care unit 13i2 and at world premieres of the St. Florian Bruckner Days or the ensemble PhiliTango with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, of which Laczika is a regular ensemble member as a pianist.

Thus, together with Graber, Laczika also described two basal underlying tendencies of music-related breathing ("driving" and "driven") based on HRV measurements during one of his performances as pianist and conductor with the Vienna String Soloists at the St. Florian Brucknertage (Laczika K, Graber OP, Tucek G, Lohninger A, Fliri N, Berka-Schmid G, Masel EK, Zielinski CC. "Il flauto magico" still works: Mozart's secret of ventilation. Multidiscip Respir Med. 2013 Mar 19;8(1):23. doi: 10.1186/2049-6958-8-23. PMID: 23509946; PMCID: PMC3608996.) Together, Laczika and Graber also premiered or premiered Graber's compositions and arrangements with the Vienna String Soloists or PhiliTango on several occasions (including Graber's "Concertino for Piano and 11 Strings" and several of Graber's arrangements from the partially previously untapped archives of the St. Florian Abbey Library at the Bruckner Festival or the concert version of the waltz from Graber's full-length ballet "Camille" in the Mahler Hall of the Vienna State Opera).