April 26, 2021

Death of Christa Ludwig

© Claudia Prieler

The Vienna Philharmonic Mourns the Death of Christa Ludwig

"With the passing of Christa Ludwig, one of the greatest voices of the 20th Century has fallen silent. Since 1955, Christa Ludwig was closely associated with the Vienna Philharmonic and in 1995 became an Honorary Member of our orchestra. Even toward the end of her life, she was a welcome guest at many Philharmonic events. With Christa Ludwig, the Vienna Philharmonic experienced countless musical highlights. Through her legendary collaborations with conductors such as Böhm, Bernstein and Karajan and her numerous appearances in opera and concert, she played an important role in the orchestra's history over a long period of time", said Daniel Froschauer, Chairman of the Vienna Philharmonic.

Christa Ludwig appeared approximately 130 times with the Vienna Philharmonic in Vienna, at the Salzburg Festival and on tour. In addition, there were about 770 performances at the Vienna State Opera. Her first appearances took place at the Salzburg Festival in 1955 as the Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte under Sir Georg Solti and as the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos under Karl Böhm. In 1956, she gave her concert debut in Vienna as soloist in Beethoven's Missa Solemnis under Karl Böhm. She sang the same part in her Philharmonic subscription concert series debut in 1957, again under Böhm. Her last concert with the Vienna Philharmonic took place in July 1993 at the Salzburg Festival, in a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 under Lorin Maazel.

As a token of our long-standing affiliation and highest esteem, Christa Ludwig was awarded the Silver Rose in 1980 and Honorary Membership in the Vienna Philharmonic in 1995.