125 years Wiener Symphoniker

125 years Wiener Symphoniker

Programme presentation of the anniversary season 24-25

09. April 2024

Orchesterfoto der Wiener Symphoniker

City Councillor for Culture Veronica Kaup-Hasler, President of the Supervisory Board Alexander Wrabetz, Chief Conductor Petr Popelka and Artistic Director Jan Nast today presented the programme for the Wiener Symphoinker's next season, in which the orchestra celebrates its 125th anniversary. It is also Petr Popelka's first season as chief conductor of the orchestra.

In numerous concerts during the 24-25 season, the orchestra will revisit its history, which began on 30 October 1900 with a concert under Ferdinand Löwe at the Vienna Musikverein - including performances of works that the orchestra has premiered over the course of its 125-year history, such as Schönberg's Gurre-Lieder and Pelleas und Melisande, Bruckner's 9th Symphony, Strauss's Rosenkavalier Suite, Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand and Schmidt's Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln. Former chief conductors Philippe Jordan and Fabio Luisi also return to the podium of the Wiener Symphoniker.

City Councillor for Culture Veronica Kaup-Hasler: "I would like to congratulate the Wiener Symphoniker on its 125th anniversary! The programme for this special season promises numerous exciting and sonorous highlights with the new chief conductor Petr Popelka, among others. This year, the Wiener Symphoniker are once again following their founding idea - 'making music accessible to everyone' - and is continuing its new formats, such as the Beisl concerts, the Prater Picnic and the Grätzl concerts. I am very pleased about this. Because music has a unifying power: it can overcome language barriers and act as a mediator. It creates shared experiences and encounters. I wish this to all the musicians of this wonderful orchestra and its audience."

Artistic Director Jan Nast explains that the anniversary season is all about renewing the founding idea and the values associated with it in the present: "The Wiener Symphoniker are a modern orchestra for everyone in the city, an orchestra that every Viennese should come into contact with at least once a year, an orchestra that is just as successful in its breadth as it is in its musical quality."

Petr Popelka will conduct more than 30 concerts as the new Chief Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker, including Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder, Mahler's 4th Symphony, Richard Strauss' Rosenkavalier Suite and his Four Last Songs with Asmik Grigorian. For his inaugural concert in October 2024 at the Wiener Konzerthaus, Petr Popelka has chosen Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, among others. "For me, the Wiener Symphoniker are a modern orchestra that touches everyone with its passion and quality," says Petr Popelka. "It's such a great pleasure that in this anniversary season we are able to commemorate the pioneering spirit of the Wiener Symphoniker on the one hand and carry on the flame of a cosmopolitan and participatory orchestra whose message speaks to people on the other." 

The orchestra will give more than 180 concerts next season, 120 of which will be in Vienna. In addition to the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Musikverein Wien, the MusikTheater an der Wien and the summer residency at the Bregenz Festival, the Wiener Symphoniker will once again be travelling around the city. The chamber music series will take place at the Wien Museum for the first time.

In addition to major symphony concerts with conductors such as Alain Altinoglu, Vladimir Jurowski, Robin Ticciati, Nathalie Stutzmann and Lahav Shani, virtuosos such as Víkingur Ólafsson, María Dueñas, Martha Argerich, Asmik Grigorian and Leonidas Kavakos will be performing at the two main venues, the Wiener Konzerthaus and the Musikverein Wien. The Prater Picnic on the Kaiserwiese will continue, as will the Wiener Advent - the Advent concert in St Stephen's Cathedral and the film music concert Cinema:Sound - 2025 with James Newton Howard. 

Supervisory Board President Alexander Wrabetz: "The close and long-standing partnerships with the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Wiener Musikverein, the Bregenz Festival and the MusikTheater an der Wien emphasise the important role of the orchestra not only for the city, but also beyond. And so it goes without saying that the Wiener Symphoniker will open the Johann Strauss Festival Year on 1 January 2025 at the stroke of midnight, just as it will play the opening ceremony for the reopening of the Theater an der Wien. I am delighted that the Wiener Symphoniker are the orchestra of the city - and has been for 125 years."

International tours will take the Wiener Symphoniker through Europe and Asia during their anniversary season, and more than 30 concerts and 60 workshops will be organised for children and young people.