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The second subscription concerts of the season, conducted by Georges Prêtre, were followed by five additional concerts with this French conductor. On October 22, 2009, in the main auditorium of the Konzerthaus, Richard Strauss' tone poem "Ein Heldenleben" was performed, and this time Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 2 in B-flat major, D125, completed the program. Three days later began the first installment of a short European tour. On October 25, in the "Teatro alla Scala" in Milan, Schubert's "Second" and Beethoven's "Eroica" were played, with Johannes Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 1 being performed as an encore. On the Austrian National Holiday on October 26th, the traditional "Concert for Austria" took place, and to pay homage to the "Cultural Capital of Europe", it was held in the Brucknerhaus in Linz. The Austrian Broadcasting Co. broadcast the program live, which consisted of Franz Schubert's 2nd Symphony and "Ein Heldenleben".
Following the performance of Dimitri Shostakovich's "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk" at the Vienna State Opera, the tour with Georges Prêtre continued on October 28th with a premiere - the first appearance of the Vienna Philharmonic in Liechtenstein. The concert in Vaduz, at which time the afore-mentioned works of Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms were played, was a truly international undertaking. In order to perform in Liechtenstein, we landed in Switzerland at Altenrhein Airport, but then spent the night in Feldkirch, Austria! On October 29th, the tour ended with a concert in Baden-Baden, at which time the compositions performed in Milan and Vaduz were repeated. -- Dr. Clemens Hellsberg