The coming 120th season of the Wiener Symphoniker, as the first term of the new chief conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada, is equally characterized by departure to new grounds as by reflection on the historical roots of the orchestra that was launched in 1900: Viennese Modernism. From the 2020–21 season onwards, the Wiener Symphoniker will increasingly draw on this fascinating legacy, as it is predestined for the sound culture of the turn of the century, which alternated between late Romantic and modern age: the Wiener Symphoniker was founded with the explicit mandate to perform contemporary music. It subsequently premiered many of the major works of Viennese Modernism in its early phase and brought the most important domestic and European representatives closer to a wide audience. Masterpieces firmly anchored in the repertoire such as Alban Berg's violin concerto “The memory of an angel” will now be experienced in the coming season as well as less frequently performed compositions by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alexander von Zemlinsky and Franz Schreker. Together they make the versatility of an unprecedented heyday of Vienna's cultural life tangible, which has also influenced the orchestra's new visual brand identity developed by the Vienna agency Seite 2.
The inaugural concert of the new chief conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada marks a very special highlight right at the start of the 2020–21 season. Here, too, curiosity about the unheard meets reflection on the historical heritage. In addition to compositions by Korngold, which the orchestra had launched at the beginning of the 20th century, the premiere of a new work commissioned by the young Dutch composer Carlijn Metselaar for the festive occasion will also be experienced.
The sound poem “Ein Heldenleben”, which is also on the program, points to another programmatic focus of the Wiener Symphoniker in the 2020–21 season. So Andrés Orozco-Estrada in his first season as new chief conductor will increasingly turn to the great orchestral works Richard Strauss'. In addition to the "hero life", the sound poetry "Don Juan" and the "Rosenkavalier Suite" are also on the program on later occasions. The Strauss focus is supplemented by a performance of the "metamorphoses" under the direction of star violinist Renaud Capuçons. A counterpoint to the expressive sound world of late romanticism and modernity can be found in another focus of the 2020–21 season: Joseph Haydn. The focus starts with the performance of his scale oratorio “The Creation” in October 2020, and at the end of the season eight months later Haydn's 101st Symphony can be seen with the nickname “The Clock”. In between, the audience will have the opportunity to experience the musicians' work on the stylistic and tonal aspects of Joseph Haydn's music up close on two other occasions. In two dates of his new series "House Concerts" Andrés Orozco-Estrada will take apart the "Fire Symphony" No. 59 and the Symphony No. 60 "Il Distratto" together with the audience and put it back together.
The participatory "House Concerts" join a series of established concert formats with which the Wiener Symphoniker provide exciting and extraordinary musical experiences in an unusual setting. The popular "Im Klang"-concerts, where the audience takes a seat in the middle of the orchestra, will have to pause in the coming season due to the coronavirus restrictions – just as well as the 19:00 concerts “WienerSymphoniker @ 7” with their intimate end to the concert in the grand foyer of the Wiener Konzerthaus. We are all the more delighted to look forward to another innovation in the busy concert calendar: At their first Proms-concert in June 2021, the orchestra and their Music Director will transform the Great Hall of the Vienna Konzerthaus into London's Royal Albert Hall for a night.
With more than 100 performances in their hometown, the Wiener Symphoniker will once again be the foundation of the symphonic life of the music city of Vienna in the coming season. In addition to appearances in the established concert venues in the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Musikverein and the Theater an der Wien, the musicians will also perform solo and in smalle ensembles on 23 consecutive days in June 2021 at unusual locations in the 23 districts of Vienna. In addition, the orchestra will once again play the major popular open-air concerts on Heldenplatz for the Festival of Joy on May 8 and the traditional summer open-air at the MQ.
Around 70 concerts and opera performances in the rest of Austria and on international stages in Germany, Switzerland, China, Japan and South Korea testify to the great demand for the contemporary Viennese sound of the orchestra far beyond the city limits. In addition to the cycles organized by the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in the Musikverein, appearances as opera orchestra in the Theater an der Wien and as an orchestra in residence at the Bregenz Festival, the Wiener Symphoniker is again offering its own cycles in cooperation with the Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft. In addition to the "Wiener Symphoniker" cycle, the successful "Matinees" with Barbara Rett and the festive "Festival Concerts" continue. The successful music mediation series “Vorhören!”, which offers concert experiences for the whole family, will be continued as well as the established “Kammermusik-Fest”, in which musicians of the Wiener Symphoniker can be experienced in an intimate chamber music setting. Due to the current restictions for fighting the pandemic, the planned concerts of the “WienerSymphoniker@7” series will take place at 7.30 p.m. in a regular concert setting without the follow-up concerts in the main foyer.
All subscriptions to the Wiener Symphoniker are now on sale and can be booked via the ticket and service center of the Wiener Konzerthaus at 01/242002 and the website www.wienersymphoniker.at, where further details on the programs can be found.
The season brochure can be explored below and can be ordered here.