curriculum vitae english version(download portraits, go to: presse / info)
So far the author and actor Miguel Herz-Kestranek has played in 160, partly international, TV and filmproductions and has acted in numerous theatre parts, as well as being author and publisher of 12 books (jan.´09), some of them having been printed in multiple editions, as well cd’s and videos.From 2000 to 2010 Miguel Herz-Kestranek was Vice-President of the Austrian P.E.N – center, the austrian section of international writers association PEN. ( show austrian pen-website). He has initiated and carried out various reforms and is also actively engaged in “Writers in prison”. This organisation takes care worldwide of persecuted and imprisoned writers and is being represented by P.E.N. International and the national offices.
Many commentaries and articles in daily newspapers and cultural magazines, presentation/arrangement of radio productions, moderating and presiding over discussion groups, as well as being publisher, keynotespeaker and laudator complement his work as author and actor.
In March 1988, in the so called “Anschluss”-memorial year, Miguel Herz-Kestranek, whose interest in exile research is represented in some of his books, presented the TV program “Vergiss das Wort, vergiss das Land” (forget the word, forget the country), about Austrian emigrants in Israel since 1938.
In 1999 Miguel Herz-Kestranek set up the world largest spoonerism-website which is being visited more than 100.000 times per month. (www.schuettelreime.at).
In October 2000 Miguel Herz-Kestranek was honoured with the Austrian Cross for Science and Art.
The artist is also Vizepresidnet of Austrian Socitety of Exil-Research, Member of the Board of Trustees of the DÖW, the Documentation Centre of the Austrian Resistance, Member of the Advisory Board of the ÖgfE, the Austrian Society for European Politics, Founder and President of the Society in Support of Austrian Advent Culture, as well as member of the German and Austrian Society for Exile Research.
In 1993 he founded the VÖFS, the Association of Austrian film actors, which he built up structurally and presided over for several years. He also was member of the board of the umbrella organisation of the Austrian film makers (cineasts) and helped to take during that time important cultural and political decisions.
Hundreds of recitals, appearances as Entertainer and cabaret artist, solo programs with chansons, lyrics and prose, also in Radio and TV, up to now 20 CDs, tours throug Israel and the USA. show Miguel Herz-Kestranek to be one of most famous and versatile artists in Austria
After graduating from high school and the Viennese “Reinhardt Seminar” Miguel Herz-Kestranek played for one year in 1971 at the Viennese Burgtheatre, after that for two years in Graz and thereafer six years at the Viennese Theatre in the Josefstadt. In between he gave half a dozen guest performances at the Salzburg Festspiele.
Since 1980 no longer bound to contractual theatre engagements, he has starred since then in various guest performances and sang the leading role in 1999 (Professor Higgins) in “My Fair Lady”; his first major role in a musical.
In 1985 Miguel Herz-Kestranek was voted by the public in Austrians largest daily Newspaper to be the most popular police inspector in the “Tatort” Series.
He acted in dozens of television plays with directors such as Xaver Schwarzenberder or Axel Corti and played in several international productions. For example Hans von Bulow, one of the main characters, in the international 10-part Richard Wagner series, besides Richard Burton as Richard Wagner and Vanessa Redgrave as Cosima.
From 1998 to 2007 Miguel Herz-Kestranek also worked as producer and managing director. As such he founded and is in charge of two different and important yearly Advent- Productions, to which he invites musicians from the new European Community members. At the same time Miguel Herz-Kestranek acts as music director and producer, as playwright, stage designer and leading performer.
In these productions, according to the motto “Alte Nachbarn – Neue Brüder” (created by Miguel Herz-Kestranek) he invites new music groups and soloists to Vienna and Bad Ischl and unites in this way various nations in the european Advent tradition in the sense of “Adventus – Arrival”, as the arrival of a peaceful and tolerant Europe.
The “Salzkammergut Advent” in Bad Ischl consists of traditional Advent singing as practised in the alpine regions with Miguel Herz-Kestranek as director and member of the cast, with the best traditional music from the region and musicians from the new European countries, Austrian Winter- and Christmas literature, mainly from the works of the author Miguel Herz-Kestranek. With his stories about the farmhand Auer Michl, an original from the Salzkammergut, he has created a character which has already reached cult status.
The “Wiener Advent” in turn is a metropolitan viennese literary-musical Advent concert with musicians from the important Viennese orchestras, traditional viennese Christmas “Schrammelmusik”, choirs and crossover musicians.Here Miguel Herz-Kestranek acts, besides his function as director and main performer, also as producer and organiser.
Both AdEvents employ in two different programs usually more than 100 contributors from three countries and meanwhile share a large audience (over 1000) and have become institutions with guest performances in other Austrian cities.
His first name Miguel “owes” Herz-Kestranek to the emigration of his jewish parents, who met in 1945 during their exile in Montevideo (Uruguay). His surname was given to him after the adoption of his father by his uncle, who added the grandmothers name “Kestranek” in the years of the nazi terror to the grandfathers name “Herz”.
Privately Miguel Herz-Kestranek, who according to himself, by “my jewish roots, my christian upbringing and my buddhist findings” lives quietly in Vienna and in his house in Sankt Gilgen. He has a daughter born in 1971 named Theresa.