Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – Summer Concerts & Ticket Info

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The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra never ceases to give honor to the Austrian capital.

It became the recipient of a prestigious award given by the Birgit Nilsson Foundation becoming the first orchestra to receive such an award. 

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Wins Nilsson Award

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In 2014 The Birgit Nilsson Foundation award also came with a cash prize worth $1 million. It is usually given to artists that have made a major contribution to the world of classical music. 

Rutbert Reisch, the foundation president, said they are aware that Birgit Nilsson loved the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Specifically, she adored the orchestra’s sound, shading, and expressiveness. The Vienna Symphony Orchestra president himself, Clemens Hellsberg, also said the award is a huge honor to them admitting that Nilsson made a huge impact in his life.  

The awarding ceremony took place in October in Stockholm, Sweden and the Vienna Philharmonic performed works by Liszt and Wagner with the Swedish King in attendance. 

To those who are not aware, Birgit Nilsson was a Swedish soprano who led an unrivaled career as an opera singer. She died in 2005 at the age of 87 and her foundation was set up three years later in 2009.  

Other internationally renowned artists who have become recipients of this prestigious award include opera star Placido Domingo and conduct Riccardo Muti. Domingo received his award in 2009 and was personally chosen by Birgit Nilsson while Muti received his prize in 2012.  

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra President

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VPO President Andreas Grossbauer said they used the money expand the Vienna Philharmonic’s historic archive. That way they made it easily accessible to the public. He added it has been a dream of the VPO to make its archive more transparent to the public.

Their goal, Grossbauer revealed, was to encourage young people to view the VPO archive and study its history. This also allowed for scholarly research, he pointed out. 

The first prize winner of the Nilsson award was personally chosen by the late soprano. The sealed envelope which contained the name of the first winner was opened only three years after Nilsson’s death on Christmas Day upon her request. It was in February 2009 when the first Nilsson prize winner was announced and the award went to opera tenor and conductor Placido Domingo. 

The Birgit Nilsson Prize is the largest of its kind in the field of classical music. An artist or institution can only receive it once. An international panel of professionals in the field of classical music and the Foundation Board take charge in selecting the winner each year.   

Buy Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Tickets

You can buy cheap Vienna philharmonic orchestra tickets if you follow the one-month application period.

For example, there was an application Period: February 1 – 29, 2020

You need to register a user account and follow the steps.

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Tickets

Ticket Price Range
New Year’s Concert €35 – €1200
New Year’s Eve Concert €25 – €860
the Preview Performance €20 – €495

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Summer Night Concert

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The concert is postponed to September 18, 2020, due to the current situation. The place where the concert will be held is SCHLOSS SCHÖNBRUNN, SCHLOSSPARK.

If you want to visit the concert you don’t need tickets. More info at

Sommer Nacht Konzert map
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Here’re access routes to the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra summer night concert.

Learn more at SOMMERNACHTSKONZERT.

Wiener Philharmoniker orchestra to Mark 100th Year of WWII

In 2013 The Austrian capital prepared to commemmorate the centennial of the start of the Second World War. The occasion took place on new year’s day during the popular concert of the Vienna Philharmonic at the start of the new year. 

For this special and most awaited event, peace was the emphasis on the musical pieces to be performed. One was Johann Strauss’ “Freidenspalmen Walzer. The Moonlight Music piece of Richard Strauss was also included in the program. 

Daniel Barenboim was leading the concert orchestra who is a peace activist himself and a conductor at the same time. He is also the founder of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra which also features Arab and Israeli musicians. 

Despite the great damage it suffered during World War II, Vienna still honors this historical event. It was in 1944 when the Austrian capital was heavily bombed. After a year, the city had faced some 1,800 bombs destroying more than 12,000 buildings and leaving thousands of people without a home. 

The 74th annual new year concert by the Vienna Philharmonic was held at the Golden Hall of Musikverein and broadcasted live in more than 80 countries around the globe. 

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Star Wars Music

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The Vienna Symphony Orchestra was gearing up for its free summer concert in June 2010. The Vienna Philharmonic played Hollywood’s famous sounds when it holds its free public performance at the Schoenbrunn Palace on June 8 during its yearly traditional summer night concert. Fans of Hollywood box office films had a chance to hear excerpts from the soundtrack of Star Wars.

If you want to know why this particular movie which depicts the universe was highlighted, it’s because it run in line with the 2010 concert theme “Moon, Planets, Stars.” This was the very first time that the summer open air concert featured the music of John Williams, known as one of Hollywood’s best composers. He wrote the music for all the six Star Wars movies since 1977 including for the Original Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy.

Three of Williams’ musical scores from the Star Wars movie was played by the Vienna Philharmonic. The others were Gustva Holst’s Mars from his “The Planets” as well as waltzes from Joseph Lanner and Josef Strauss.

It was outgoing chief conductor Seiji Ozawa, a Japanese, who originally proposed the idea to play the Star Wars music. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, Ozawa wasn’t able to serve as a conductor during the summer concert. He was replaced by Franz Welser-Moest who is Vienna State Opera’s new general music director.

The Vienna Philharmonic’s summer night musical performance was broadcasted live to some 60 countries worldwide while some 100,000 people watched the concert live at the Schoenbrunn Palace baroque park.

Wiener Philharmoniker Orchestra Welcomes Woman Concertmaster

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The world renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has been performing with a male concertmaster for its entire 160 years of existence until 2010. For the first time since the 1800s, the Vienna symphony orchestra has appointed a female concertmaster who served the post permanently.

Since September 2008, Albena Danailova has been only acting concertmaster. The post on an acting capacity was also held by mostly men in the previous years. However, in March 2010, the internationally famous ensemble finally confirmed the permanent appointment of Danailova after surpassing the probation period. She bested 13 other candidates aiming for the position left vacant by violinist Verner Hink who had just retired. 

Women members started joining the orchestra in the 1980s. However, it was only in 1997 that they were allowed to become full members of the Vienna Philharmonic association.

Vienna Symphony Orchestra – Members

The most important member of the Wiener Philharmoniker orchestra is its conductor. This is the person you see holding a baton and leading the orchestra during its performances.

Second in line to the conductor is the concertmaster who normally leads the first violin section of the ensemble. Albena Dainalova who is born in Bulgaria held this position before being promoted to acting concertmaster. In January 2005, the group had its first female conductor in the person of Australian Simone Young. 

In 2010 the orchestra had three full-time female members. Four other women were in the ensemble although not considered members of the Vienna Philharmonic association which grants certain privileges. They were, however, already members of the Vienna State Opera.

The Wiener Philharmoniker orchestra has been performing since 1842. It differs from most orchestras, though, in that their string instruments are actually part of the entire ensemble. It’s worthy to note as well that the orchestra carefully selects the instruments it uses to enable it to produce its own unique string sound during performances.

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