Wiener Symphoniker - Margarita Höhenrieder

Margarita Höhenrieder, an outstanding pianist from Munich, rarely performs in concerts. She is little known
to the general public but highly respected among experts. She has been invited to perform as a soloist by
the conductors Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, James Levine, Fabio Luisi, Lorin Maazel as well as by
renowned orchestras such as the Symphony Orchestra of Bavarian Radio, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,
the Staatskapelle of Dresden, the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, the Mozarteum Orchestra of
Salzburg, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

The Wiener Symphoniker handles the lion’s share of symphonic activity that makes up the musical life of the
Austrian capital. The preservation of the traditional, Viennese orchestral sound occupies a central place in
the orchestra’s various artistic pursuits. The end of the 19th century was precisely the right time to establish
a new Viennese orchestra for the purpose of presenting orchestral
concerts with broad appeal, on the one hand, and to meet the need for first
performances and premieres of contemporary works, on the other. In October 1900, the newly formed
Wiener Concertverein, as it was called back then, gave its first public performance at the Vienna Musikverein
with Ferdinand Löwe on the podium. The Wiener Symphoniker has premiered works that are now
undisputed staples of the orchestral repertoire, including Anton Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony, Arnold
Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder, Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, and Franz Schmidt’s The Book
with Seven Seals. Over the course of its history, conducting greats like Bruno Walter, Richard Strauss,
Wilhelm Furtwängler, Oswald Kabasta, George Szell and Hans Knappertsbusch have left an indelible mark on
the orchestra. In later decades, Herbert von Karajan (1950–1960) and Wolfgang Sawallisch (1960 –1970)
were the Chief Conductors who moulded the sound of the orchestra most significantly. After the brief return
of Josef Krips, the position of Chief Conductor was filled by Carlo Maria Giulini and Gennadij Roshdestvensky.
Georges Prêtre was Chief Conductor from 1986 to 1991. Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Vladimir Fedoseyev
then assumed leadership of the orchestra. Fabio Luisi accepted the position of Chief Conductor and Artistic
Director at the start of the 2005– 06 season, his successor in 2014 –15 will be Philippe Jordan. Leading
lights who have enjoyed notable success as guests on the podium of the Wiener Symphoniker include
Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado and Sergiu Celibidache. The Wiener
Symphoniker appears in more than 150 concerts and operatic performances per season, the vast majority of
which take place in Vienna’s wellknown concert venues, the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus. Since 1946,
the Wiener Symphoniker has been the orchestra in residence at the Bregenzer Festspiele, where it also plays
the majority of operatic and symphonic performances. The orchestra also took on a new challenge at the
beginning of 2006: That’s when the Theater an der Wien became a functioning opera house again, and the
orchestra has been responsible for a significant number of productions ever since.


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