Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
For the past 175 years, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has been inseparably linked with
European musical tradition, from the classical to the contemporary. The philharmonic's
performances have gone down in musical history, and several masterpieces have been written
for the ensemble.
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 40 concerts annually in Vienna,
presents Vienna Philharmonic weeks in New York and Japan, and has participated in the
Salzburg Festival since 1922. The orchestra makes yearly guest appearances, playing more
than 50 concerts 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
Since 2008, Rolex has been the Exclusive Sponsor of the Vienna Philharmonic
From the beginning, the orchestra has displayed a strong social consciousness,
characterized by a commitment to individuals in need and the fostering of young musicians.
To this day, the orchestra annually performs numerous benefit concerts and develops
initiatives for needy persons.
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
Franz Welser-Möst is one of the most distinguished conductors of our day. He has been
music director of The Cleveland Orchestra since 2002, and his contract currently runs until
The artistic profile of his long-term collaboration with The Cleveland Orchestra, which
celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2018, is characterized by exceptional programming,
numerous premieres, innovative staged opera productions, and a strong commitment to
building up a new and, above all, young audience through groundbreaking projects and
collaborations. In addition to their regular residencies in the US and Europe, Mr.
Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra have appeared at Carnegie Hall, Tokyo's Suntory
Hall, and at the festivals of Salzburg, Lucerne, and Grafenegg.
As a guest conductor, Mr. Welser-Möst has a particularly close and productive relationship
with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He has twice appeared on the podium for its
celebrated New Year's concerts, and regularly conducts the orchestra in concert at Vienna's
Musikverein, the Lucerne Festival, the BBC Proms, and on tour in Japan, Scandinavia, and
the US. This special relationship was recognized in spring 2014, when he was presented with
the orchestra's Ring of Honor.
From 2010 to 2014, Mr. Welser-Möst was general music director of the Vienna State Opera.
In addition to cultivating the entire repertoire, he conducted 20th-century works such as
Janáček's Káťa Kabanová, From the House of the Dead, and The Cunning
Little Vixen, as well as Hindemith's Cardillac. In Vienna and Cleveland, he
has focused on the operas of Richard Strauss and conducted performances of Salome,
Die Frau ohne Schatten, Der Rosenkavalier, Ariadne auf Naxos,
Mr. Welser-Möst is a regular guest at the Salzburg Festival, with recent appearances that
include performances of Rusalka, Der Rosenkavalier, Fidelio,
and, in summer 2016, a new production of Strauss's Die Liebe der Danae. In 2017,
he conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra there in a new production of Aribert
During the 2017-2018 season, Mr. Welser-Möst conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden at the
Salzburg Easter Festival, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus
Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Mr. Welser-Möst has received many other
honors and awards, and his numerous CDs and DVDs have earned many international prizes.