The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1842. It was brought into being by the German composer Otto Nicolai. Almost a century later, during the Nazi era, the association was initially dissolved by the law on the transition and incorporation of associations and the assets went to the State Theater of Vienna.
In 1939 the idea of the New Year’s Concert was born, at which only the music of Johann Strauss was played. This New Year’s Concert has now become one of the cultural highlights of the year and is always broadcasted live on many countries. The wonderful pictures from Austria are accompanied, among other things, by great flowers and dance interludes by the Vienna Ballet. With the end of the Second World War, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra became independent again and the orchestra played two large concert evenings immediately after the liberation of Vienna. Particular attention is paid to the position of conductor with the Vienna Philharmonic. Because until 1933 the orchestra was led by only one conductor each season. From 1933 there were only guest conductors. Famous guest conductors include Herbert von Karajan and Daniel Barenboim for example.
The New Year’s concerts began on New Year’s Eve and only the next concert was scheduled for New Year’s Day: On January 1, 1941, Krauss was again in charge, who played Viennese New Year’s theme for all war years up to and including 1945. The Blue Danube Waltz was played as an encore for the first time in 1945. In 1946 and 1947, Josef Krips directed the New Year’s Concerts, and in 1946 the event – until then known as the Johann Strauss or the Philharmonic Academy – was called the New Year’s Concert for the first time. After the ban on public appearances was lifted from 1948 until his death in 1954, Clemens Krauss took over the New Year’s concerts again, which since 1952 have been preceded by a New Year’s Eve.
Vienna Philharmonic Coins
In keeping with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Austrian Mint has been issuing an investment coin every year since 1989, which is called the Vienna Philharmonic after the orchestra. Initially, the coins were made of pure gold. An annual silver has also been available since 2008. Their value does not correspond to the pure face value, but the Vienna Philharmonic is a bullion coin, the value of which is based on the current precious value. The motif of the Vienna Philharmonic is always the same. The obverse of the Vienna Philharmonic coin created by Thomas Pesendorfer shows some of the orchestral instruments in the middle.