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Ever since the first "Festival Internazionale die Musica e Arte Sacra" was held in the year 2002, the Vienna Philharmonic has made an annual guest appearance at this festival in the Vatikan or one of the extraterritorial basilicas of the smallest country in the world. Following an inauguration ceremony on November 8, 2001, at which time the "Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross", Hob. XX:1, by Joseph Haydn was played under the direction of concertmaster Werner Hink in Santa Maria Maggiore, our orchestra has performed the following works at this festival: Ludwig van Beethoven, "Missa Solemnis" (Franz Welser-Möst - November 21, 2003); Joseph Haydn, "The Creation" (Nikolaus Harnoncourt - November 22, 2003); selected repertoire of the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle by Antonio Caldara, Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as well as Franz und Ferdinand Schubert (Ricardo Muti - October 21, 2004): Anton Bruckner, 9th Symphony and "TeDeum" (Seiji Ozawa - November 26, 2005); Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, "Coronation Mass" (Leopold Hager - November 19, 2006); Giuseppe Verdi, "Messa da requiem" (Daniele Gatti - October 11, 2007); Anton Bruckner, 6th Symphony (Christoph Eschenbach - October 13, 2008).
Due to the extensive travelling schedule for the Philharmonic this year, no date for an orchestral concert in the Vatican could be found. Therefore selected members of our orchestra (Jun Keller, Andreas Großbauer, Tobias Lea, Tamás Varga, Christoph Wimmer, Norbert Täubl, Benedikt Dinkhauser and Thomas Jöbstl) formed an ensemble to give a chamber music concert in the Basilica Santa Maggiore. On November 20, 2009, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A major, KV 581 and Franz Schubert's Octet in F Major, D803 were performed.