Wiener Symphoniker

Wiener Symphoniker

As Vienna’s cultural ambassador and concert orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker handles the lion’s share of symphonic activity that makes up the musical life of the Austrian capital. The orchestra’s activities centre on innovative projects that are associated with the purposeful cultivation of important Viennese musical traditions.

Wiener Symphoniker © Peter Rigaud

In October 1900, the newly formed Wiener Concertverein, as it was called back then, gave its first public performance at the Vienna Musikverein with Ferdinand Löwe on the podium. The Wiener Symphoniker has premiered works that are now undisputed staples of the orchestral repertoire, including Anton Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony, Arnold Schönberg’s Gurre Lieder, Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, and Franz Schmidt’s The Book with Seven Seals. Over the course of its history, conducting greats like Bruno Walter, Richard Strauss, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Oswald Kabasta, George Szell and Hans Knappertsbusch have left an indelible mark on the orchestra.

In later decades, Herbert von Karajan (1950–1960) and Wolfgang Sawallisch (1960–1970) were the Chief Conductors who moulded the sound of the orchestra most significantly. After the brief return of Josef Krips, the position of Chief Conductor was filled by Carlo Maria Giulini and Gennadij Roshdestvensky. Georges Prêtre was Chief Conductor from 1986 to 1991. Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Vladimir Fedoseyev and Fabio Luisi then assumed leadership of the orchestra.

Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado and Sergiu Celibidache are among the luminaries who have enjoyed notable success as guests on the podium of the Wiener Symphoniker.

The Swiss conductor Philippe Jordan took up the position of Music Director at the beginning of the 2014–15 season, leading the Wiener Symphoniker into a new era. In the process, the orchestra focuses especially on seasonal involvement with major composers, contemporary music, collaboration with Artists in Residence, and spirited activity in music education.

Wiener Symphoniker at the Festival of Joy 2015 © MKÖ, Sebastian Philipp

The Wiener Symphoniker appears in more than 150 concerts and operatic performances per season, the vast majority of which take place in Vienna’s well known concert venues, the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus. Added to that is a very busy and extensive touring schedule. Since 1946, the Wiener Symphoniker has been the Orchestra in Residence at the Bregenz Festival, where it also plays the majority of operatic and symphonic performances. The orchestra took on a new challenge at the beginning of 2006: That’s when the Theater an der Wien became a functioning opera house again, and the orchestra has been responsible for a significant number of productions ever since.

The appearance of the Wiener Symphoniker at the Festival of Joy is kindly supported by Oesterreichische Nationalbank and Münze Österreich AG.

Ingo Metzmacher

Conductor

The work of conductor Ingo Metzmacher is characterised by his consistent commitment for the music of the 20th and 21st century as well as by a very innovative programme.

Some of his most recent projects are the premiere of Johannes Maria Staud’s Die Weiden (The Willows) in Vienna, new productions of Shostakovich’s  Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District in Paris and Enescu’s Oedipe (2019) as well as Luigi Nono's Intolleranza 1960 (2020) at the Salzburg Festival, or the French premiere of Rihm's Jakob Lenz at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. In the fall of 2020, he managed the new production of Walter Braunfels’ Die Vögel (The Birds) at the Bavarian State Opera. The KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen were held under his artistic direction for the fifth time.

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PIPPA

PIPPA

Her album "Idiotenparadies" made the singer discover her passion for different sounds and arrangements. "Superland" had mainly songs in the classic sense, whereas her new album thrives on an appetite for experimentation. Pop meets HipHop, Funk and electronic music, which makes for the creation of something completely new. Something that’s unmistakeably PIPPA.

Her lyrics are still stories and anecdotes about Vienna and her own life. Astonishing about them is her sometimes almost brutal honesty ("Meine Traurigkeit", engl. "My sadness"), which shows the artist's vulnerability. "As women, we must be allowed to show our weaknesses. Perfection is deadly boring anyway." PIPPA considers the beauty of failure her motto in life.

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Wladigeroff Brothers & Violinist Alexander Nantschev

Twins Alexander and Konstantin Wladigeroff have been enhancing Vienna's jazz and ethno-scene for over 20 years. They were also part of the Vienna Festival. They have had several guest performances as instrumentalists on stage of the Vienna Burgtheater. This has made for projects that transcend genres, combining elements from classical music, jazz, world music and Bulgarian folk music, which are interpreted with lots of curiosity and enthusiasm. The two also perform regularly with Vienna born and raised violinist Alexander Natntschev. As a trio, the twins and Alexander Nantschev have arranged a piece of music for the group of victims of the Roma and Sinti at this year’s Festival of Joy.

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Orchestra Divertimento Viennese

Orchestra Divertimento Viennese

Divertimento Viennese was founded in 1998 by Vinzenz Praxmarer. Together with concert master Martin Reining, Praxmarer put together the orchestra which originally consisted of students of music and whose members are top musicians. Their work stands for quality and musical opulence.

The group has found their musical home in the music of the Fin de Siècle, meaning the time of the late 19th and early 20th century. A special focus in their repertoire is works of composers who had been ostracized and forced into exile but whose artistic work has a connection to Vienna. The orchestra's most recent successes include concerts with Angelika Kirchschlager and Camilla Nylund at the Konzerthaus in Vienna and the Brucknerhaus in Linz.

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