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On July 7, 2010, the Vienna Philharmonic embarked, after a previous time in June 2008 for the second time in its history, on an ocean cruise. The voyage on "Mein Schiff" led from Kiel over Tallinn to St. Petersburg. On July 10, 2006, Valery Gergiev conducted the String Serenade by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, Ildikó Raimondi sang the aria of Frau Fluth ("Nun eilt herbei, Witz, heitre Laune") from Otto Nicolai's opera "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and Rudolf Buchbinder performed Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto in the newly opened Mariinsky Concert Hall, which is quite correctly acclaimed for its acoustical excellence. The next day Valery Gergiev conducted a matinee in the Mariinsky Theatre consisting of Mozart's "Figaro" overture, and the repetition of the String Serenade and Rudolf Buchbinder performing the 5th Piano Concerto, with which he opened a Beethoven cycle. On July 12th in Helsinki, the Piano Concertos Nrs. 2, 4 and 1, were performed by him with our orchestra without a conductor. The Third Piano Concerto followed three days later.
This performance was part of one of the most notable concerts in the history of our ensemble. On July 15, 2010, five weeks following the 200th birthday of Otto Nicolai, the Vienna Philharmonic made its first appearance in Königsberg, the birthplace of its founder. This concert, conducted by Christian Thielemann, naturally began with selections from the opera "The Merry Wives of Windsor" (the overture and the aria of Frau Fluth, with Ildikó Raimondi) and, following the Piano Concerto, closed with Beethoven's 7th Symphony. Preceeding the concert, one of several commemorative plaques for Otto Nicolai donated by the orchestra was unveiled in the cathedral of Königsberg.