The VBW-Orchestra

Copyright: Moritz Schell
Copyright: Moritz Schell

Since its founding in 1965, the THEATER AN DER WIEN orchestra has made a significant contribution to Vienna’s continually-growing importance as a musical metropolis in the German-speaking world. The theater an der Wien and RAIMUND THEATER orchestras were combined in 1987 to form today‘s Vereinigte Bühnen Wien orchestra. It now consists of 74 instrumentalists of all genres who, over the past decades, have developed into an integrated and well-respected ensemble. Every evening the orchestra plays first-class musical performances in the VBW theatres, its first-class performances also making it a popular player of jazz and big band programs. It has also made a name for itself in musical interpretations for film, accompanying operettas and modern chamber operas, and performing numerous concert series both at home and abroad.

Theater an der Wien

„MoMo & Mo(derne)“ sums up the Theater an der Wien’s artistic focus: Aside from works ranging from Monteverdi to Mozart, emphasis is also placed on contemporary musical theatre.

Its top-notch orchestral basis is formed by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Vienna Symphonic, Concentus Musicus, and international period instruments ensembles. Together with established and rising stars, they ensure excellent quality from opening nights to last performances.

In October 1900, The Vienna Symphonic, which was called „Wiener Concertverein" at the time, presented itself to the public for the first time. Back then, the Vienna Philharmonic was primarily dedicated to opera performances and the new orchestra aimed at complementing it in the area of concert music. Since 1946, it has regularly performed at the Bregenz Festival as an „Orchestra in Residence“ (and, thus, chiefly as an opera orchestra). From the start, numerous eminent personalities in the world of conducting have stood at the desk of The Vienna Symphonic, among others Wilhelm Furtwängler, Oswald Kabasta, Richard Strauss and Bruno Walter. Leonard Bernstein and Lorin Maazel made their debuts in Vienna with the Vienna Symphonic. Playing under its principal conductor Herbert von Karajan and Wolfgang Sawallisch has influenced the orchestra in a very special way. As the first guest conductor, Georges Prêtre followed principal conductor Carlo Maria Giulini and Gennadij Roshdestvenskij; since 1991, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos served as head of the The Vienna Symphonic. In 1997, Vladimir Fedosejev took over this position, in October 2005 it was passed on to Fabio Luisi.

The Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra was formed as an offspring of the Großes Orchester des Österreichischen Rundfunks in 1969. It has since established itself as one of the most versatile orchestras in Austria. Since its founding, the RSO has mainly focused on contemporary music. Bertrand de Billy has been serving as the principal conductor of the RSO Vienna since 2002. Aside from concert series at Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus, the orchestra regularly performs at important festivals at home and abroad, and it has forged a special connection with the Salzburg Festival and KlangBogen Vienna. Its extensive touring has taken the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra to the US, South America, Asia, and various European countries, among others. Under conductor Bertrand de Billy, the RSO produced recordings of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte, Eugen d’Alberts Tiefland as well as a CD with French orchestral music.