Vienna Philharmonic

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Otto Nicolai

The Vienna Philharmonic (in German: Wiener Philharmoniker) is an orchestra in Austria, regularly considered one of the finest in the world.[1][2][3]

Its home base is the Musikverein. The members of the orchestra are chosen from the Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera. This process is a long one, with each musician having to prove his or her capability for a minimum of three years' playing for the Opera and Ballet. Once this is achieved the musician can then ask the Board of the Wiener Philharmoniker to consider an application for a position in the Vienna Philharmonic.



The orchestra can trace its origins to 1842, when Otto Nicolai formed the Philharmonische Academie; which was a fully independent orchestra and which took all its decisions by a democratic vote of all its members. These are principles the orchestra still holds today.

With Nicolai's departure in 1847, the orchestra nearly folded, and was not very active until 1860, when Karl Anton Eckert joined as conductor. He gave a series of four subscription concerts, and since then, the orchestra has given concerts continuously.

From 1875 to 1898 Hans Richter was principal conductor, except for the season 1882-1883 when he was in dispute with the orchestral committee. During Richter's tenure, the orchestra gave the premieres of the 2nd and 3rd symphonies of Johannes Brahms, and the 8th symphony of Anton Bruckner.

Gustav Mahler held the post from 1898 to 1901, and under his baton the orchestra played abroad for the first time at the 1900 Paris World Exposition. Subsequent conductors were Felix Weingartner, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Clemens Krauss.

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