The König brothers, as rich in contrasts as Saalfelden Leogang
Two brothers as rich in contrasts as Saalfelden Leogang: Lukas and Florian König. One lives for music, the other for cycling and both are very successful in their respective fields. Saalfelden Leogang offers the ideal ground for both. Lukas König will be opening the Jazz Festival Saalfelden in a few days and has been part of the line-up time after time in recent years. His brother Florian is the general secretary of Cycling Austria and, for instance, on site at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup to support the Austrian athletes.
Even as children, Lukas and Florian König visited Saalfelden Leogang every year with their parents for their skiing vacations. Back then it was not foreseeable that they would have something to do with the region professionally for completely different reasons. While both sons were still involved in both music and cycling as children, their respective focuses crystallized more and more clearly over the years. "One grandpa rode a bike, the other was a musician, so we got to experience both," Florian says of his roots. Eventually, Florian became more and more addicted to cycling and Lukas plunged into his career as a musician.
We asked the König brothers a few questions to get to know them better and to understand their connection to Saalfelden Leogang.
What does music mean to you, Lukas, and what does cycling mean to you, Florian?
Florian: "What music is to Luki, sport is to me."
Lukas: "Music is my life. I've been connected to music ever since I can remember. Starting through my family, then later developed through my education and now through exploring and experiencing music. In total, for almost 35 years."
Florian: "As children we practiced both, but at some point, we made a choice and gave up the other. Until the age of 19 I was involved in competitive sports, but even after that I was always on my bike in my free time. Professionally, I then slowly moved back in the direction of cycling and since October 2022 I've been Secretary General at Cycling Austria, where we look after all organized cycling in Austria in addition to the national team."
Lukas, did you always want to be a musician and do you have any connections to sports?
Lukas: "When I was 10, I thought it was cool that my uncle was a civil engineer and had a house, a car and a great camera, so I thought that's what I wanted to be. But he thought it would be cooler to be a drummer. The other grandfather (on my mother's side) was supporting both of us in becoming road bike riders. However, I was never really good at that and always too nervous. I never liked this competition and measuring and at some point I stopped racing at the age of 15. Other than that, I jog from time to time and ride my bike to the city."
What connects each of you to Saalfelden Leogang?
Lukas: "As a child, we always went skiing in Leogang. Every year during the semester break. And then years later it all started, as I was first with Stuttering&Jazzwerkstatt Vienna in the Nexus and then again a few years later I suddenly spent every summer at the Jazz Festival. First as a guest, then I have played a lot of concerts with different musicians. I consider myself very lucky that the artistic director Mario Steidl always asked me to present my latest projects and bands here. Of course, the fact that I'm allowed to open the festival this year is the best."
Florian: "Saalfelden Leogang is a showcase region in terms of biking. As Cycling Austria, we have so far mainly dealt with road cycling, but it is a great desire of mine to treat all disciplines as equally as possible. And in this sense, we are also strengthening our cooperation with Saalfelden Leogang, because this relaxed, casual mentality, which also appeals to younger generations, we would also like to dedicate ourselves to."
What characterizes the region of Saalfelden Leogang?
Lukas: "Well, as a non-musician and connoisseur of the festival, I guess you would say: the mountains and beautiful nature. But as a musician I also have to point out which legends of music production have already played here. The people who live there may not even know that. But half the world has been here and return as guests repeatedly every year. For that, the region of Saalfelden Leogang can consider itself very lucky."
Thank you, Lukas and Florian König, for the interesting interview!
Photos: Michael Geißler, Eckhardt Derschmidt, Matthias Heschl, Österreich Werbung Skyline Medien, Peter Moser, Klemens König, Moritz Ablinger, Florian König, Klaus König