Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more consistently and closely associated with
the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic
Since its inception by Otto Nicolai in 1842, the fascination that the orchestra has held
for prominent composers and conductors, as well as for audiences all over the world, is
based not only on a homogenous musical style carefully bequeathed from one generation to
the next, but also on its unique history and structure. The foremost ruling body of the
organization is the orchestra itself.
In accordance with philharmonic statutes, only a member of the Vienna State Opera
Orchestra can become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Before joining the
philharmonic, one must first audition for a position with the State Opera Orchestra and
then successfully complete a three-year period before becoming eligible to submit an
application for membership in the association of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performs approximately 110 concerts every season at
home, presents Vienna Philharmonic weeks in New York and Japan, and has participated in the
Salzburg Festival since 1922. The orchestra makes yearly guest appearances in leading
concert halls and festivals around the world; presents the New Year's Concert, which is
broadcast internationally in more than 90 countries; and presents the free Summer Night
Concert Schönbrunn, which is attended annually by up to 100,000 people.
In 2014, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra received the coveted Birgit Nilsson Prize for
outstanding achievements and major contributions to the field of opera/concert, as well as
the Herbert von Karajan Music Prize. Since 2008, Rolex has been the Exclusive Sponsor of
the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
The philharmonic's mission is to communicate the humanitarian message of music to its
listeners. For more than a decade, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has given benefit
concerts in support of humanitarian causes around the world, and since 2012 has been
Goodwill Ambassador for IIASA, an international scientific institute based in Austria that
conducts research into humanity's most pressing problems.
The musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra endeavor to implement the motto with
which Ludwig van Beethoven prefaced his Missa solemnis: "From the heart, to the heart."
Valery Gergiev returns to Carnegie Hall for three concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic
Orchestra that feature music from Richard Wagner's Parsifal,
Götterdämmerung, and Der fliegende Holländer. A frequent visitor to
Carnegie Hall, Mr. Gergiev is known for his cycles of works by Berlioz, Shostakovich,
Prokofiev, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, and many others, which he has performed with the Mariinsky
Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. From Carnegie
Hall, he travels with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to South America.
Now in his first full season as music director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, he
has already presented a cycle of the five Prokofiev piano concertos in one day, led
masterworks such as Mahler's Symphony No. 2, and recently returned from a tour of Asia with
the orchestra. In previous years as music director designate, he implemented the
performance of all 15 Shostakovich symphonies, as well as cycles of works by
Having completed a nine-year tenure as principal conductor of the London Symphony
Orchestra, which included many recordings and international tours, Mr. Gergiev now
concentrates on leading the legendary Mariinsky Theater, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,
and the Stars of White Nights, Moscow Easter, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev festivals.
In 1998, he followed Sir Georg Solti as principal conductor of the World Orchestra of
Peace, a position he continues in today.
Valery Gergiev was born in Moscow and studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad
Conservatory. As a student, he won the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Competition in
Berlin. In 1978, at the age of 24, he became assistant conductor to Yuri Temirkanov at the
Mariinsky Theater, where he made his debut with Prokofiev's War and Peace. In
2003, he became the first Russian conductor since Tchaikovsky to conduct Carnegie Hall's
Opening Night Gala. His recordings on LSO Live and the Mariinsky label have been acclaimed
worldwide. Today he is a popular guest on all the great stages of Europe, Asia, and the
Americas, including at the Salzburg Festival and the Metropolitan Opera.