February 20, 2017

Vienna and New York: 175 Years of Two Philharmonics

The New York Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic, both celebrating their 175th anniversaries this season, will present an unprecedented joint exhibit of archival material from throughout the venerable orchestras’ histories, to be housed at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, February 23–March 10, 2017. The exhibit will then travel to Vienna in March, where the New York Philharmonic will be performing on its EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour (March 29 at the Konzerthaus) — the exhibit will open at the Haus der Musik on the Vienna Philharmonic’s 175th birthday, March 28.

The exhibit, “Vienna and New York: 175 Years of Two Philharmonics,” will launch with a private event on February 22 featuring a joint performance of chamber music by musicians from the New York and Vienna Philharmonics.

Among the many treasures to be featured are documents written at the founding of each orchestra, including a call for musicians written by conductor-composer Otto Nicolai, founder of the Vienna Philharmonic, and the New York Philharmonic’s “Constitution of the Philharmonic Society of New York,” the formal document establishing the Orchestra’s operating principles. Other items include historic conducting scores, programs, photographs from performances and tours, and letters from composers and conductors who played significant roles in the orchestras’ histories.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates its anniversary at home with the launch of a new permanent archive in the Haus der Musik, one time home of founder Otto Nicolai, on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of the orchestra’s first concert, on March 28. Also in honor of the anniversary, Deutsche Gramophone will release a box set of historic recordings and three books will be published: a history of the Vienna Philharmonic by French musicologist Christian Merlin, a collection of photographs by Vienna-based Swiss artist Nives Widauer, and a book that examines the orchestra’s cultural and political history and its musicians commissioned by the newly formed Vienna Philharmonic Society in New York from Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz, author and chief dramatic adviser of Volksoper Vienna. On tour in the U.S., the orchestra performs concerts conducted by Franz Welser-Möst and presents masterclasses and other educational activities at Carnegie Hall in New York (February 24-26), Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill, NC (February 27), and Artis―Naples in Naples, FL (March 1 and 3).

Austrian Cultural Forum New York