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Prof. Reinhard Öhlberger
The 74th Vienna Philharmonic Ball, which took place this year on January 22nd in the halls of the Vienna Musikverein, was under the auspices of the orchestra's new ball chairman, tubist Paul Halwax. He followed in the footsteps of Andreas Großbauer, who had held the position for the past seven years.
The festive opening in the Golden Hall was entrusted to Franz Welser-Möst, under whose baton the Vienna Philharmonic performed two pieces by Josef Strauss: The fast polka "Forever" op. 193, and the waltz "Günstige Prognosen" op. 132. The fanfare for the official entrance of the guests of honor was comprised of two pieces: the "Ausseer Fanfare" by our former solo horn and orchestra chairman, Gottfried von Freiberg, as well as the "Wiener Philharmoniker Fanfare" by Richard Strauss. Both of these compositions were conducted by Anton Mittermayr.
For the long night of dancing which followed, the Golden Hall was turned over to the Large Ball Orchestra of Prof. Helmut Steubl, which alternated with the Tom Henkes Dance Band. Until the early hours of the morning, a large number of chamber music offerings could also be heard and enjoyed throughout the various halls of the building. At the entrance, a leaflet was handed out to guests providing them with an overview of all these various opportunities.
The Gläserne Saal in the lower level was for the second time decorated as the intoxicating "Makart-Atelier" and was a main venue for chamber music presentations, along with the Gottfried von Einem Saal, which was designated on this evening the "Musiksalon". The Metallener Saal, true to its designation, functioned as the place for hardline disco under the name "K + K Vienna Diskothek". Somewhat less taxing on the ears, was the Heuriger music to be heard in the orchestral dressing rooms.
The organization for this event was in the capable hands of the ball committee composed of Rotraut Konrad, Madeleine Rohla-Strauß, Rudolf Hundstorfer and Dominique Meyer. As has been the case for many years, the choreography of the debutante committee was under the direction of Prof. Dkfm. Thomas Schäfer-Elmayer.