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Concert The Vienna Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev
World famous Mariinsky Ballet and Opera Theatre - Opera and Concert Hall

Schedule for The Vienna Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev 2020

Composer: Peter Tchaikovsky
Composer: Ludwig Van Beethoven
Piano: Maestro Rudolf Buchbinder
Orchestra: The Vienna Philharmonic
Composer: Otto Nicolai
Soprano: Ildico Raimondi

Orchestra: Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra

Ludwig von Beethoven. Piano concerto No. 5
Soloist: Rudolf Buchbinder (piano)

Otto Nicolai. Arias from the opera Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor
Soloist: Ildico Raimondi (soprano)

Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Serenade for string orchestra

Conductor: Valery Gergiev

One of the world’s oldest musical ensembles, the Wiener Philharmoniker was founded in 1842 by the Prussian composer Otto Nicolai. Nicolai in fact formed the Philharmonische Akademie with its unique charter, in accordance with which the orchestra was completely independent, and all important decisions were taken via a democratic vote of those involved. Like the Ancient Greeks, the philharmonic’s musicians always took pride in their democratic system of management, and when talks began concerning the construction of a new home for the orchestra, meaning the Musikverein, Vienna’s temple of music to-be, they invited Theophil Hansen, the leading Danish ideologist of the age and proponent of Greek culture, in order that he might build something akin to Athens’ Parthenon in Vienna. Opened in 1870, the Musikverein became the orchestra’s base as well as being the largest and most beautiful concert hall in the world.

It is important that the philharmonic’s musicians have been able to defend the democratic principles established almost one hundred and seventy years ago, which remain intact to the present day. Rules governing membership of the Society of Friends of Music and regulations concerning a season’s guest conductors and individual concerts may have changed, but neither adversity or misfortune could impel the freedom-loving musicians to search for a “fuehrer” (or a tyrant in their independent view) who could protect them if the case arose. Until 1933 the post of First Conductor was retained – and nominally this musician was considered the orchestra’s director (the list of great names includes Karl Anton Eckert, Karl Richter, Gustav Mahler, Felix von Weingartner, Wilhelm Furtwдngler and Clemens Krauss) – albeit with seriously limited powers, and then began the age of guest conductors. Renowned “guests” of the past have included many highly acclaimed 20th century musicians, among them von Karajan, Bernstein and Bцhm.

Since 1941 the Wiener Philharmoniker has performed a New Year concert at the Musikverein where a maestro selected in advance by the musicians conducts music composed by the Strauss family. This is the very concert that has, for the past ten years, been broadcast throughout the world on TV and which is invariably discussed at length by music lovers.

In July and August the philharmonic’s musicians travel to Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg where they perform as the resident orchestra of the Salzburg Festival.

It is not easy to become a musician with this renowned orchestra: first there are auditions for the Wiener Staatsoper, where musicians must then play for three years, and only after that may they apply to join the Musikverein. Membership of the Verein does not guarantee the right to perform in the orchestra, but it is a “Purgatory” from where the select luck ones will enter Paradise (as well as status the musicians receive serious financial guarantees).

There are legends about the philharmonic’s musicians, such as they know every piece of music ever written from their school years and that they never rehearse. It is hard to believe this, but in any legend there is always a grain of truth. In any case, the orchestra’s repertoire hobbyhorse is Austrian music from all ages, including the New Viennese and minimalists from all types.The Wiener Philharmoniker first appeared at the Stars of the White Nights festival in 2003, coinciding with St Petersburg’s tercentenary celebrations and performing at the Mariinsky Theatre under the baton of Valery Gergiev.

Yekaterina Belyaeva

Schedule for The Vienna Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev 2020

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