The premiere of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem took place at the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral on 30th May 1962. This had been largely destroyed during the Battle of England in the Second World War following an air raid by the German Armed Forces. Thereby but also through the choice of the soloists – the Russian soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, the British tenor Peter Pears and the German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Britten put forward an urgent plea for reconciliation of the peoples.
In symbolic representation, the Canadian soprano of Polish descent Arianne Pieczonka, the German tenor Werner Güra and the US-American star baritone Thomas Hampson will sing, accompanied by the Wiener Symphoniker.
In the commemorative year 2018, one hundred years since the end of the First World War in 1918 and eighty years since the annexation of Austria in 1938, the Wiener Symphoniker will thus remind of the timeless message of peace. The Orchestra itself performed this monumental work for the first time 50 years ago, in November 1968.