The work of two of Vienna's great adopted sons is the focus of the city's orchestra in its 2019-20 touring. Following their performances of Johannes Brahms's four symphonies in the Bregenz Festival and the Vienna Musikverein, the Wiener Symphoniker bundle up the scores of the Third and Fourth Symphonies in their luggage and travel to Antwerp and Geneva (Third) and Bern and Zurich (Fourth). Also on the programme for all concerts is the composer's Violin Concerto, performed by two of the orchestra's former Artists in Residence and among today's most in-demand virtuosi: Nikolaj Szeps Znaider performs the concerto in Antwerp and Julia Fischer takes over for the remaining stops on the tour.
Worldwide in demand: Vienna´s offical cultural ambassador
Enthusiastically received by international critics, the orchestra's CD recordings of Beethoven's nine symphonies under Philippe Jordan have earned the Wiener Symphoniker a place as one of the world's leading Beethoven orchestras. Small wonder, then, that the orchestra is in special demand as the city's official cultural ambassador in Beethoven Year 2020, the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth.
In January alone, the orchestra and its Chief Conductor give guest performances of the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies in Graz, Salzburg, Budapest and Zagreb. A veritable marathon of a concert awaits the audience in Paris, where the Wiener Symphoniker with Philippe Jordan and several soloists such as Nicholas Angelich recreate the legendary Great Academy of 1808. With works such as the Fifth Symphony, Fourth Piano Concerto, the Choral Fantasy and more, this will be a first-class concert experience.
The orchestra performs all five piano concerts over two evenings in both Frankfurt am Main and Düsseldorf. Rudolf Buchbinder, a longstanding close friend and artistic companion of the orchestra, directs the concerts and - how could it be otherwise? - performs the solo part.
The orchestra also presents Beethoven's Violin Concerto in 2020. The Belgian star-conductor and historical performance specialist Philippe Herreweghe directs the June concert in Prague; Isabelle Faust is the virtuoso soloist.
In 2017 the Wiener Symphoniker was the first orchestra ever to perform all of Beethoven's nine symphonies as a cycle in China, and so returned nicely warmed-up for the brilliant Beethoven cycles in the Musikverein and Konzerthaus that followed. To bring his tenure as the orchestra's Chief Conductor to a close, Philippe Jordan and the Wiener Symphoniker return to the Far East in Summer 2020. Along with Beethoven's 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th Symphonies, the programme also includes the Fifth Piano Concerto .