There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic.
Even to this day, prominent soloists and conductors refer to the unique "Viennese Sound" as the outstanding quality that sets it apart from other orchestras. The fascination that the orchestra has held since its foundation by Otto Nicolai in 1842 is based upon the conscious maintenance of a homogenous musical style which is carefully bequeathed from one generation to the next, as well as a unique history and organizational structure. The pillars of the 'Philharmonic Idea', which remain valid even today, are a democratic organization that places the entire artistic and organizational decisionmaking process in the hands of the musicians themselves, and a close symbiosis with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. The orchestra's touring activity has taken the orchestra to all continents on the globe. From the beginning, the orchestra has displayed a strong social consciousness and to this day, the orchestra annually performs numerous benefit concerts and develops initiatives for the disadvantaged. The Vienna Philharmonic performs approximately 40 concerts in Vienna annually as well as more than 50 concerts a year on its international tours. All of these activities underscore the reputation of the Vienna Philharmonic as one of the world's finest orchestras. www.wienerphilharmoniker.at