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Dr. Clemens Hellsberg
The Vienna Philharmonic performed for the eleventh time in the park of Schönbrunn Palace on May 29, 2014. In spite of hefty rainfall in the afternoon and cooler temperatures in the evening, 43,000 people attended the traditional "Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn", which presented an homage to Richard Strauss, who was born on June 11, 1864. This composer's commemorative year was represented by his "Burlesque" and the tone poem "Til Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks". The rest of the program consisted of works of two composers whom Strauss particularly respected: Hector Berlioz (Overture "Le Carnaval Romain" and Overture to the Opera "Benvenuto Cellini") and Franz Liszt (Symphonic Poem "Mazeppa"). The encores were the waltz "Wiener Blut", op. 354, and the "Furioso-Polka" by Johann Strauss. The soloist for the "Burlesque" was Lang Lang, who had also in 2005 appeared as part of this concert. Christian Eschenbach made his first appearance at this event.
As with all the preceding Schönbrunn concerts (all of which are documented on CD and DVD) this concert was also broadcast with the highest technical and artistic means by the ORF, along with the aid of the European Broadcasting Union and numerous additional broadcasting companies, in more than 70 countries. The organization of this major event, a cooperation between the Vienna Philharmonic, Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsgesellschaft and the Austrian Federal Gardens was once again entrusted to the Kunstlersekretariat Buchmann GmbH, whereby approximately 700 workers were employed to realize this endeavor.
The "Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn" was attended once again by Austrian President Dr. Heinz Fischer as well as numerous government officials, at the head of whom were Chancellor Werner Faymann and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Michael Spindelegger. This event remains an important cultural-political project of the Vienna Philharmonic, and in spite of the high cost, which is pre-dominantly underwritten by our exclusive partnership with ROLEX, and by the Austrian National Bank, the Austrian Mint, the ZZ Investment Administration, theBank Austria (who invited several thousand guests to the dress rehearsal on May 28th), the Federal Chancellery, the Financial Ministry and Wien Kultur, the concert remains free of cost to anyone wishing to attend.
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