This internationally acclaimed orchestra was founded
in 1900 by the Austrian conductor Ferdinand Lowe. Originally it was named Wiener Concertverein (the Vienna Concert Society) and became
the resident orchestra in Vienna’s
In 1919 Wiener Concertverein
and the Tonkustler Orchestra merged and managed
to keep going once radio became the popular way of listening to music and
the amount of people going to concerts
14 years later, in 1933, they became known as the
Vienna Symphony Orchestra and after the Austrian Invasion had happened in
1938 they found themselves being used for propaganda after incorporation
into what were known as the German Cultural Orchestras.
After the war the orchestra stopped playing on 1st
September 1944 but a year later after efforts made by Josef Krips and Hans Swarowsky the
Vienna Symphony Orchestra gave their first post-WWII concert in September
1945 when they performed Mahler’s Symphony
Managing to regain their previous reputation they
appeared at the Bregenz Festival in 1946 and have
been its Orchestra-in-Residence ever since. That same year they were joined by
Herbert von Karajan who took the orchestra on tours throughout North
American and Europe and introduced the acclaimed
“Karajan Series” of concerts.
They performed for Pope John XXII at the Vatican
in 1959 and in 1960 Wolfgang Sawallisch became
their new Principal Conductor.
In 1964 he took them on a tour of the United
States and three years later they
undertook a further tour of the United
States and combined it with a tour of Japan.
During the 1980s and 1990s the orchestra extended
their repertoire with a series of Orchestral Rock performances, went on
many international tours and performed four different concert series. Their leadership changed when Sawallisch left with Josef Krips
temporarily taking over as Principal Conductor before Carlo Maria Giulini filled the position. The introduction of their Principal
Guest Conductor, Georges Pretre, came in 1986.
In 1991 by Rafael Fruhbeck
de Burgos became the Principal
Conductor and six years later the orchestra was joined by the Principal
Conductor, Vladimir Fedosejev, who led them until
2005 and he was succeeded by Fabio Luisi. The orchestra gained the Principal
Guest Conductor, Yakov Kreizberg.
The orchestra currently give in the region of 160
performances annually in concerts, chamber performances and opera. Many of their past and present
performances have often appeared on numerous acclaimed recordings and since
2006 they have played for operatic productions at the Theater
an der Wien.
Placido Domingo recordings
Adeste Fidelis (John Francis Wade)
RCA Red Seal 53835 (CD: Placido Domingo & The
Vienna Boys Choir)
Conductor: Helmuth Froschauer
Ensembles: Vienna Boys' Choir/Vienna Symphony