Vienna Philharmonic

The Vienna Philharmonic is celebrating its 175th birthday in 2017. It was on 28 March 1842 that members of the Imperial Court Opera Orchestra, led by Otto Nicolai in Vienna’s Grand Ballroom, gave the first Philharmonic concert. The principles established then have since remained in place. One is the stipulation that only musicians of the Vienna Staatsoper (the former Court Opera) can become members of the Vienna Philharmonic. Another is that all decisions regarding artistic, organizational, and financial autonomy are made by general assembly. In 1877 the ensemble 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, most notably, 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 single chief conductor was then abandoned in favor of a close artistic collaboration with outstanding artistic personalities of the time; Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan, and Leonard Bernstein in particular have made important contributions to its history. Since being founded, the Vienna Philharmonic has given some 7,000 concerts and performed on all five continents. It has participated in the Salzburg Festival since 1922 and also makes regular appearances at the Vienna Festwochen and Salzburg Mozartwoche and in New York and Japan. This year the musicians celebrate their 60th anniversary at LUCERNE FESTIVAL. Highlights of each season include the New Year’s Concert, which is broadcast in 80 countries, and the Summer Night Concert at Schönbrunn, which is 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:

April 2017