Press Release

Austrian Federal President Van der Bellen met with the RHI Magnesita workers’ bands in Veitsch

04. July 2022

How do music, mining and sustainability successfully work together? On July 2, 2022, RHI Magnesita marked the 120th anniversary of its workers’ band in St. Barbara/Veitsch. Over 100 musicians and representatives of the national and local politics gathered to celebrate the tradition and highlight the strong ties between RHI Magnesita and this region. Over generations, it has contributed towards Veitsch’s social and economic empowerment – Company‘s plant was built here around 140 years ago.

Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen did not miss the chance to attend the event in person. “There is a lot of heart and soul in every musician… It is a great joy to see how these bands are still active after 120 years. They preserve an important tradition for many Austrians,” he said.

“Being closely connected with the people who live here is something special for our Company. Our employees identify very strongly with us. Entire generations have been employed at the former Veitsch-Radex and today’s RHI Magnesita. These are our employees who have kept the workers’ band alive,”  added Rajah Jayendran, COO RHI Magnesita, proudly.

In addition to the music festival, there was also room for discussion about the global challenges of today. As a leading company in the global refractories industry, RHI Magnesita scales up its sustainability efforts in the fields of recycling and green energy. The future strategies and potential private-public collaborations were discussed between the Austrian Federal President and RHI Magnesita’s COO. They also talked about the crisis in Ukraine and the future socio-economic recovery.

Furthermore, Alexander Van der Bellen met with young female professionals to understand their views on sustainability, peace, innovation, and inclusion.

About the workers’ band

The magnesium deposit was discovered here in 1881, and in 1902, a so-called „Werksfeuerwehrkapelle“ was established by the local mining industry workers. Currently, the band consists of 34 talented musicians, with the youngest being 13 years old and the oldest 85. Their repertoire ranges from traditional to classical and modern musical pieces. Recently, the band was awarded with the “Robert Stolz Medal” by the Styrian Governor.

More photos from the event are available here.

Video is available here.