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Vienna Philharmonic 1842‒2017: 175 Years of Political, Social, and Music History

In 2017 the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra commemorates its foundation 175 years ago. This lecture starts by presenting the distinctive structures of this orchestra which are in effect until today. Based on documents of the orchestra’s Historical Archives a time travel from the 19th to the 21st century will then highlight the orchestra’s relations with the most famous composers and conductors of their times, the role of its musicians that have formed this unique musical body, and its affiliations with the different political regimes between the Habsburg Empire, National Socialism, and the Republic of Austria. In this talk, Dr Silvia Kargl, archivist of the Vienna Philharmonic, and Dr Friedemann Pestel, historian at Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, who have extensively worked on the orchestra’s rich archival collections, will explain how the Vienna Philharmonic became and remained one of the world’s leading orchestras over 175 years.     

(c) Historisches Archiv Wiener Philharmoniker