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Prof. Reinhard Öhlberger
In September of 2014, the Vienna Philharmonic went on tour to Switzerland, Germany, China and Japan with Gustavo Dudamel, following two previous concerts in Grafenegg and Vienna. This major undertaking had begun in Salzburg with the concerts on August 23/24 which featured compositions which were also performed on tour.
This long period of collaboration betwenn the orchestra snd Gustavo Dudamel proved to be a particularly rewarding experience, both artistically an on a personal level.
Not including the appearances in Salzburg, this project included 15 concerts, two youth concerts and a rehearsal open to the public, along with the various working rehearsals and acoustical rehearsals on site. The most intensive phase of work was the ten days between September 18th and 27th, which consisted of 9 concerts and 2 youth concerts along with the one open rehearsal.
Japanese hospitality once again provided us with a welcoming reception hosted by the Association of the Friends of the Vienna Philharmonic in Tokyo, as well as another such event presented by Suntory Hall. Following the final concert on September 27th, the orchestra was invited once again to the traditional farewell party. This festive conclusion was musically enhamced by Karl-Heinz Schütz (Vienna State Opera Orchestra) and Daniel Ottensamer with a virtuoso composition by Olivier Truan, "The Chase", as well as by the Japanese Shamisen-Artist Shinichi Kinoshita, who performed on his lute-like instrument predominantly indigenous music, but also included a version of the Radetzky March to which those in attendance enthusiastically clapped along.
The orchestra's appearances in Japan and in East Asia once again proved to be a fruitful endeavor with potential for further development. It was apparent that the programs, which for the most part consisted of the Viennese classics and also later periods, served to augment the lives of the people there in a way that cannot be expressed in numbers.