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On 28 March 1842, members of the Imperial Court Opera Orchestra led by Otto Nicolai gave a concert in Vienna’s Grand Ballroom, thus inaugurating the Vienna Philharmonic. The principles established then have remained in place. One is the stipulation that only musicians of the Vienna Staatsoper (the Court Opera at the time) can become members. Another is that all decisions regarding artistic, organizational, and financial autonomy are made by general assembly. In 1877 the Philharmonic performed for the first time outside Vienna at the Salzburg Music Festival; in 1900 came the first performance abroad, at the Paris World Exposition, with Gustav Mahler conducting. In addition to Mahler, other composers who have appeared on the podium include Wagner, Verdi, Bruckner, Brahms, and Richard Strauss. The list of music directors includes such names as Hans Richter, Felix Weingartner, Wilhelm Furtwängler, and Clemens Krauss. Starting in 1933, the model of a permanent chief conductor was replaced by that of a close artistic collaboration with outstanding artistic personalities of the era, with Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan, and Leonard Bernstein in particular making important contributions to the ensemble’s history. Over the course of its 177-year existence, the Vienna Philharmonic has given more than 9,000 concerts and performed on five continents. It has participated in the Salzburg Festival since 1922 and, since 1957, at LUCERNE FESTIVAL and is also a regular guest at the Vienna Festwochen and Salzburg Mozartwoche, additionally offering its own concert series in New York, Paris, London, and Japan. Highlights of each season include the New Year’s Concert, which is broadcast to over 90 countries, and the Summer Night Concert at Schönbrunn, attended annually by up to 100,000 people. Rolex is the exclusive partner of the Vienna Philharmonic.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 1 September 1957 in a program of works by Schumann, Barber, and Beethoven, with Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting.
For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at: www.wienerphilharmoniker.at