Founded in 1842 the Vienna Philharmonic is considered by many to be one of the finest orchestras in the world.

The Vienna Philharmonic is based at the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria. Its members are selected from the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera. Selection involves a lengthy process, with each musician having to demonstrate his or her capability for a minimum of three years’ performing for the opera and ballet. The musicians may then request an application for a position in the orchestra.

Each New Year’s Day since 1 January 1941, the VPO has sponsored the Vienna New Year’s Concerts, dedicated to the music of the Strauss family composers, and particularly that of Johann Strauss II. Those who would like to be there ‘live’ need to strike lucky in the annual ticket draw through the Philharmonic’s website. The second annual appearance of the Vienna Philharmonic the Summer Night Concert in Schönbrunn, set against the fabulous backdrop of Schönbrunn Palace is an open-air event for 100,000 visitors, with free admission and set against the fabulous backdrop of Schönbrunn Palace.

The Vienna Philharmonic did not accept female musicians to permanent membership until 1997, and still has fewer than 10% of female players.

The orchestra have a distinctive, revered sound that has been attributed in part to its instruments that differ from those used by other major orchestras, and in part to its playing styles. Viennese wind and brass instruments are richer in overtones than instruments in other orchestras.

About this Contributor

Contributor type
Minutes created
Collection 2 #9

Minutes by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra