Performance Sunday, March 16, 2014 | 7 PM

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Join Zubin Mehta and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for a celebratory concert, honoring Viennese music and its cultural influence. This musical marathon explores the broad spectrum of Viennese music, from classical to esoteric, in a format similar to those of concerts heard in this cultural capital at the turn of the 19th century. This stellar tribute includes opera extracts and songs significant to the pride of the nation, works by influential composers who frequented the city, and waltzes and polkas that mirror a traditional New Year’s Day program.


  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Zubin Mehta, Conductor
  • Gil Shaham, Violin
  • Diana Damrau, Soprano
  • New York Choral Artists
    Joseph Flummerfelt, Chorus Director


  • NICOLAI Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • WEBERN Six Pieces, Op. 6
  • NICOLAI "Moon Chorus" from The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • WOLF "Der Feuerreiter"
  • MOZART "Ave Verum Corpus"
  • SCHMIDT Intermezzo from Notre Dame
  • BERGER Legend of Prince Eugene
  • KORNGOLD Violin Concerto
  • JOSEF STRAUSS Delirien Waltz, Op. 212
  • EDUARD STRAUSS Bahn frei! Polka, Op. 45
  • JOHANN STRAUSS JR. Frühlingsstimmen Waltz, Op. 410
  • LANNER Steyrische Tänze
  • J. STRAUSS Cachucha Galop, Op. 97
  • LEHÁR "Meine Lippen sie küssen so heiss" from Giuditta
  • HELLMESBERGER JR. Kleiner Anzeiger Galop, Op. 4

  • Encores:
  • KREISLER "Schön Rosmarin"
  • J. STRAUSS JR. "Klänge der Heimat" from Die Fledermaus
  • J. STRAUSS JR. "Unter Donner und Blitz" Polka Schnell, Op. 324

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately three hours, including two 20-minute intermissions.


  • 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 Orchestra (VPO). In the course of its 172-year history, the musicians of this most prominent orchestra of the capital city of music have been an integral part of a musical epoch that-thanks to an abundance of uniquely gifted composers and interpreters-must certainly be regarded as unique. Additionally, the orchestra's extensive touring schedule, prolific recordings, and global television broadcasts allow its artistry to be experienced around the world.

    The orchestra's close association with this rich musical history is best illustrated by the statements of countless preeminent musical personalities of the past. Richard Wagner described the orchestra as being one of the most outstanding in the world; Anton Bruckner called it "the most superior musical association"; Johannes Brahms counted himself a "friend and admirer"; Gustav Mahler claimed to be joined together through "the bonds of musical art"; and Richard Strauss summarized these sentiments by saying, "All praise of the Vienna Philharmonic reveals itself as understatement."

    The Vienna State Opera Orchestra holds a special relationship with the private association known as the Vienna Philharmonic. In accordance with Philharmonic statutes, only a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra can become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic. The engagement in the Vienna State Opera Orchestra provides the musicians a financial stability that would be impossible to attain without relinquishing their autonomy to private or corporate sponsors. Over the course of more than a century and a half, this chosen path of democratic self-administration has experienced slight modifications, but has never been substantially altered. The foremost ruling body of the organization is the orchestra itself.

    The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's mission is to communicate the humanitarian message of music into the daily lives and consciousness of its listeners. For more than a decade, the VPO has given benefit concerts in support of humanitarian causes around the world, and since 1999, it makes an annual donation of 100,000 Euros from its New Year's Concert to a variety of international charitable organizations. In 2005, the orchestra was named Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization, and has served as an official Goodwill Ambassador for IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) since 2012. Since 2008, Rolex has been the Exclusive Sponsor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The musicians endeavor to implement the motto with which Ludwig van Beethoven, whose symphonic works served as a catalyst for the creation of the orchestra, prefaced his Missa solemnis: "From the heart, to the heart."

    Zubin Mehta

    Zubin Mehta was born in 1936 in Bombay and received his first musical education under the guidance of his father, Mehli Mehta, who was a noted concert violinist and founder of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra. After a short period of pre-medical studies in Bombay, Mr. Mehta left for Vienna in 1954 and eventually entered the conducting program under Hans Swarowsky at the Akademie für Musik. By 1961, he had already conducted the Vienna, Berlin, and Israel philharmonic orchestras, and he has recently celebrated 50 years of musical collaboration with all three ensembles.

    Mr. Mehta was music director of Orchestre symphonique de Montréal from 1961 to 1967 and also assumed the music directorship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1962, a post he held until 1978. In 1969, he was appointed music advisor to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and was made music director in 1977. In 1981, the orchestra awarded him the title of music director for life. In 1978, he took the post as music director of the New York Philharmonic and commenced a tenure that lasted 13 years-the longest in the orchestra's history. Since 1985, he has been chief conductor of the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

    Mr. Mehta made his debut as an opera conductor with Tosca in Montreal in 1963. Since then, he has conducted at the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Milan's Teatro alla Scala, the opera houses of Chicago and Florence, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as well as at the Salzburg Festival. Between 1998 and 2006, he was music director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. In October 2006, he opened the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, and since then, he has held the position of president of that city's annual Festival del Mediterrani, where he conducted a celebrated Ring cycle. He has also led Ring cycles in Chicago and Munich.

    Mr. Mehta continues to support the discovery and furtherance of musical talents all over the world. Together with his brother Zarin, he is co-chairman of Bombay's Mehli Mehta Music Foundation, where more than 200 children are educated in Western classical music. The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv develops young talent in Israel and is closely related to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, as is a new project of teaching young Arab Israelis in the cities of Shfaram and Nazareth.


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  • Gil Shaham

    Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time. His combination of flawless technique and inimitable warmth has solidified his legacy as an American master. Highlights of his 2013-2014 season include performances of Korngold's Violin Concerto with The Cleveland Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris; a continuation of his exploration of the concertos of the 1930s with the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and on tour with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; the world, Asian, and European premieres of a new concerto by Bright Sheng; and a recital tour that features Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin.

    Mr. Shaham has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name, including bestsellers that have appeared on record charts in the US and abroad, winning him multiple Grammy Awards, a Grand Prix du Disque, a Diapason d'Or, and a Gramophone Editor's Choice award. His recent recordings are produced by the Canary Classics label, which he founded in 2004; they comprise Nigunim: Hebrew Melodies, Haydn violin concertos and Mendelssohn's Octet with the Sejong Soloists, Sarasate: Virtuoso Violin Works, Elgar's Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Butterfly Lovers and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A Minor with Yefim Bronfman and Truls Mørk, The Prokofiev Album, The Fauré Album, Mozart in Paris, and works by Haydn and Mendelssohn.

    Mr. Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and in 2008 he received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. He plays the 1699 "Countess Polignac" Stradivarius. He lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and their three children.

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  • Diana Damrau

    Diana Damrau continues to amaze audiences with her unique voice and arresting stage presence. A regular guest at the most renowned opera companies and concert halls, she was awarded the title Bayerische Kammersängerin in 2007 and, in 2008, was named Singer of the Year by Opernwelt magazine. A documentary on her life, directed by Beatrix Conrad and entitled Diana Damrau-Divine Diva, was first aired on the French-German TV channel ARTE in February 2011.

    During the 2013-2014 season, Ms. Damrau performs a broad range of repertoire on both operatic and concert stages. She began the season in Vienna, where she performed the title role in the world premiere of Iain Bell's new opera A Harlot's Progress at the Theater an der Wien, followed by her performance as Violetta in a new production of La traviata that opened the season of Milan's Teatro alla Scala. She also performs Violetta   for company role debuts in Paris and London. Other projects include her role debut as Amina in La sonnambula at the Metropolitan Opera. 

    A beloved artist at the Met, Ms. Damrau has returned to New York every year since 2005, tackling Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Aithra (Die ägyptische Helena), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Gilda (Rigoletto), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Marie (La fille du regiment), Adèle (Le comte Ory), and Adina (L'elisir d'Amore); she also caused a sensation by singing both her first Pamina and her last Queen of the Night in a 2007 run of Die Zauberflöte. In Europe, she has close ties with the Salzburg Festival, where her 2001 debut was followed by appearances as Queen of the Night, Blonde (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Fauno (Ascanio in Alba), and Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro). The list of conductors with whom Ms. Damrau has performed includes Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, Ivor Bolton, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Kent Nagano, Fabio Luisi, Jérémie Rhorer, Dan Ettinger, and Christian Thielemann.

    In addition to her achievements in opera, Ms. Damrau has established herself as one of today's finest lieder singers and gives recitals with such pianists as Helmut Deutsch, Julius Drake, and Matthias Lademann at renowned venues that include Berlin's Philharmonie, Vienna's Musikverein, London's Wigmore Hall, the Salzburg Festival, and the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg. Her extraordinary musical partnership with harpist Xavier de Maistre is documented on CD, entitled Nuit d'étoiles, and on a recital DVD released in 2013.

    A native of Günzburg, Germany, Ms. Damrau studied voice with Carmen Hanganu at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg and with Hanna Ludwig in Salzburg.

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  • New York Choral Artists

    The New York Choral Artists was founded by Joseph Flummerfelt in 1979. Highlights of past seasons include a memorial performance of Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem with the New York Philharmonic in 2001; the world premiere of John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls with the same orchestra in 2002; and performances at the rededication of the Statue of Liberty in 1986 and the 100th anniversary of Carnegie Hall. The choir has sung under the batons of Leonard Bernstein, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Colin Davis, Erich Leinsdorf, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, and Riccardo Muti, among many others.

    Collaborating regularly with the New York Philharmonic, the choir has performed Strauss's Elektra, Puccini's Tosca, Mahler's Symphony No. 8, and Britten's War Requiem on the occasion of Mr. Maazel's retirement; Handel's Messiah with Nicholas McGegan; and an acclaimed run of My Fair Lady with Rob Fischer. Other performances include Verdi's Requiem, Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges, and Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky.

    The New York Choral Artists' discography includes On the Transmigration of Souls with Lorin Maazel and Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Leonard Bernstein, both of which won Grammy Awards; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Schoenberg's Gurrelieder with Zubin Mehta; Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 with Kurt Masur; Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd; Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, Oedipus Rex, and Requiem Canticles; Gershwin's Porgy and Bess; a Christmas recording that features Kathleen Battle; and a Christmas album, O Come All Ye Faithful. Jacqueline Pierce is the contractor for the New York Choral Artists.

    Joseph Flummerfelt, Musical America's 2004 Conductor of the Year, is the founder and musical director of the New York Choral Artists. He is also an artistic director of the Spoleto Festival USA, and was the conductor of the Westminster Choir for 33 years. Mr. Flummerfelt has conducted more than 50 performances with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Italy and the US. He has also guest conducted numerous US orchestras in Haydn's Creation and the world premiere of Stephen Paulus's Voices of Light with the New York Philharmonic and the Westminster Choir, among others. For nearly four decades, Mr. Flummerfelt has collaborated in the preparation of hundreds of choral-orchestral performances with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, and Riccardo Chailly, among others.

    Mr. Flummerfelt's Westminster Symphonic Choir and New York Choral Artists have been featured in 45 recordings, including Britten's War Requiem, Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Leonard Bernstein, John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls, and Messiaen's La transfiguration de notre seigneur Jésus Christ with the National Symphony Orchestra. His recordings of Barber's Antony and Cleopatra and of John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls with the New York Philharmonic won Grammy Awards, and he has received Grammy nominations for the Westminster Choir's recording of Haydn's Missa in angustiis with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, and Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette with Riccardo Muti and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Other accolades include Le Prix du Président de la République from L'Académie du Disque Français, and four honorary doctoral degrees.

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Korngold's Violin Concerto (Moderato nobile)
London Symphony Orchestra | André Previn, Conductor | Gil Shaham, Violin
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

This evening's concert surveys a century and a half of Viennese music, with the first part focusing on works written for the opera house, concert hall, and church, and the second part on dance music and operetta. Throughout its history, Vienna has presented two faces to the world: sober and sensibly conservative on the one hand, fun-loving and heedless of the future on the other. This dichotomy is encapsulated in the lives and music of the composers who stand at the opposite ends of the program's chronological spectrum—Mozart and Korngold—both of whom were equally at home in the worlds of classical and popular music.

As the capital of the ethnically diverse Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Vienna of the 18th and 19th centuries was both a magnet for musical talent and a cultural melting pot; the Hungarian influence, in particular, can be heard in several pieces on this program. If Mozart's universal genius reflects the world-embracing confidence of Viennese culture at the height of the Habsburg dynasty, the atonal, aphoristic music of Webern seems an appropriate emblem for the dissolution of the old regime and its aristocratic values in the early 20th century. Much of this history overlaps with the history of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which traces its beginnings to 1842.
Program Notes


During February and March 2014, Carnegie Hall salutes Vienna's extraordinary artistic legacy with "Vienna: City of Dreams."

This concert is made possible, in part, by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.
Lead funding for Vienna: City of Dreams is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Suki Sandler in support of the 2013-2014 season.

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