Symphony Orchestra of the Vienna Volksoper

(c) Volksoper, 2014

The Orchestra

The Symphony Orchestra of the Volksoper Vienna is renowned worldwide for its concerts of Viennese operetta repertoire with world famous singers. Building on its work as the orchestra of the Vienna Volksoper, it is the world’s most famous ambassador for the works of Johann Strauß father and son, Josef, as well as Franz Lehár, Emmerich Kalman and Franz von Suppé. The orchestra has toured internationally every year since 1994 and has accompanied the world’s greatest singers including Jose Carreras, Agnes Baltsa, Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.

In recent years the orchestra has worked with stars including Elina Garanca, Jonas Kaufmann, Angela Gheorghiu, Piotr Beczala, Annette Dasch, Diana Damrau and Juan Diego Florez.

The history of the orchestra began in 1916 with the founding of a democratic society of the orchestra of the Volksoper Vienna, and its first concert was on 11th November 1917. Apart from a hiatus in 1938–45, when it was closed down by the government, the orchestra has been performing ever since. After WWII the Symphony Orchestra of the Volksoper Vienna was refounded with a new focus on recording. In 1953 the orchestra was awarded the prize for the best technical and musical LP for its recording of Mahler’s 5th Symphony.

From 1978 the focus of the orchestra turned to symphonic concerts, with the new format of concerts of operetta music following soon after. The Symphony Orchestra of the Volksoper Vienna first toured Japan with this repertoire in 1988, and has since become a regular guest. A particular highlight was the invitation to play both the opening and closing concerts of the 30th anniversary season of Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.

The orchestra has also toured Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. In recent years the orchestra has performed well received outdoor summer concerts with Elina Garanca Göttweig, Linz, and Kitzbühel, Austria.

Repertory and Mission Statement

The versatility of the orchestra is reflected in its extensive repertoire which includes compositions from the baroque right up to the contemporary. The performances of F.Mendelssohn-Bartholdy oratorios “Elias”, “Judas Maccabäus”, “Paulus”, of J.Haydn “The Creation”, or J.Brahms “German Requiem” were just as successful as concerts with contemporary music at the “Wiener Festwochen”.

Besides its daily repertoire with (traditional and modern) operas and musicals, the orchestra’s main emphasis remains the cultivation of the “Wiener Operette” genre but also the excellent symphonic music by the family Strauß, F.Lehár and F. von Suppé; because of the extensive requirements and the daily work with singers on our opera house it is therefore an ideally flexible ensemble…