Vienna Philharmonic

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Vienna Philharmonic,

symphony orchestra in Vienna, Austria, founded 1842 and based at the Weiner Musikverein. The orchestra is a self-governing institution whose members are selected exclusively from the Vienna State Opera's orchestra, and does not have principal conductors. From 1842 to 1933 subscription conductors led all the concerts in a single season. Otto NicolaiNicolai, Otto
, 1810–49, German composer. His opera Il Templario (1840), after Scott's Ivanhoe, was successful, but his masterpiece was the comic opera The Merry Wives of Windsor (1849).
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 was the first conductor (1842–48), and Otto Dessoff (1872–75) enlarged the repertoire. Hans Richter (1875–82), Gustav MahlerMahler, Gustav
, 1860–1911, composer and conductor, born in Austrian Bohemia of Jewish parentage. Mahler studied at the Univ. of Vienna and the Vienna Conservatory.
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 (1898–1901), and Wilhelm FurtwänglerFurtwängler, Wilhelm
, 1886–1954, German conductor, b. Berlin; son of Adolf Furtwängler. One of the greatest orchestral conductors of the 20th cent., he studied music in Munich, where he grew up.
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 (1922–45, 1952–54) were other leading subscription conductors, although Furtwängler was in effect the principal conductor during his tenure. Since 1933, a number of guest conductors have led the orchestra each season. Important artistic collaborations have included those with Arturo ToscaniniToscanini, Arturo
, 1867–1957, Italian conductor, internationally recognized as one of the world's great conductors. He studied cello at the Parma Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1885.
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, Karl BöhmBöhm, Karl,
1894–1981, Austrian conductor. He studied with the musicologist Eusebius Mandyczewski and took a law degree before turning to conducting. After successful appearances with leading German orchestras, he was appointed director of the Vienna State Opera, a
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, Herbert von KarajanKarajan, Herbert von
, 1908–89, Austrian conductor. Karajan began his conducting career in 1927. After World War II his reputation spread through Europe to the United States.
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, and Leonard BernsteinBernstein, Leonard
, 1918–90, American composer, conductor, and pianist, b. Lawrence, Mass., grad. Harvard, 1939, and Curtis Institute of Music, 1941. A highly versatile musician, he was the composer of symphonic works (the Jeremiah Symphony, 1944;
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. During the period of National Socialist rule (1938–45), the Nazi regime politicized the organization and several musicians were forced out. The orchestra is regarded as one of the world's finest, and performs regularly at the Salzburg FestivalSalzburg Festival,
annual festival of music and drama held in Salzburg, Austria, for five weeks starting in late July. The festival may be considered a descendant of the Salzburg Music Festival Weeks that the Vienna Philharmonic gave irregularly between 1877 and 1910.
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 and other international venues.
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