How To Get Concert Tickets
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s hard to get close to the Philharmonics, physically: If you want more than TV and live streaming, find out how to bag tickets for one of the most famous orchestras in the world.
History In Brief
More than 170 years ago, musicians of the Imperial and Royal Court Opera Orchestra (k.k. Hofopernorchester) – the former Vienna State Opera – decided to form an independent orchestra. The aim was to perfectionate their professional skills while exploring the best interpretations of classical music by composers such as Wolfgang Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. From the end of the 19th century, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra have played with prominent conductors such as Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Claudio Abbado, Nicolaus Harnoncourt, Riccardo Muti, and Zubin Mehta.
What Makes The Philharmonics Music Special?
The Vienna Philharmonics have managed to guard the sound of classical instruments from the 18th century, unlike other central European or French musical schools. This sound has since been known as the Viennese Sound. Some of the instruments played by the Philharmonics are unique in their makings and are used nowhere else, such as the Viennese horn, the Viennese oboe, the Viennese bassoon, thrombone and tuba.
How To Bag Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Tickets
Listening to the Vienna Philharmonics live is a special treat. The orchestra plays mostly at subscription concerts in Vienna, or tours the world. Unlike the several sub-choirs of the Vienna Boys Choir, there is only ONE orchestra. If you don’t want to put your name down on the 13-year waiting list for concert subscriptions read my four tips on grabbing Vienna Philharmonics tickets.
1. Visit A Concert Open To Non-Subscribers
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra occasionally perform concerts for non-subscribers at their ‘home’, the Wiener Musikverein, as well as at other concert halls in Vienna, such as the Wiener Konzerthaus, Theater an der Wien or the Arnold Schoenberg Center. The orchestra also tours Europe and overseas countries on a regular basis.
The Vienna New Year’s Concert 2018 will be the most sought after Philharmonic event, as the annual concerts before have been. Tickets are allocated through an online drawing between January and March. However, there is also a second way to securing your seat at the Wiener Neujahrskonzert:
A very special Philharmonics concert is the annual free Summer Night Concert at Schönbrunn Palace, a lovely open air event in the palace gardens. This is a great way of the Philharmonics to let a wide public enjoy their music. Read more about the Summer Night Concert.
‘Following the proclamation of the Republic, Austria abolished the aristocracy, which has been replaced by a subscription to the concerts of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.’ Hans Weigel, Austrian writer (1908 to 1991)
Concert tickets sales on commission take place one week before the subscription concerts and soirees. These are tickets that are not used by subscribers. With many performances tickets do become available one week before the concert. You can buy them directly via telephone under 0043 (1) 505 65 25 or in the Bureau of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on Kärntner Ring 12, A-1010 Vienna.
Access concert schedules for subscription concerts and soirees.
3. Watch The Vienna Philharmonics At The Vienna Opera House
One of the easiest ways to listen to member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is to book a night at the Vienna State Opera. All members of the Philharmonics are also members of the orchestra of the Vienna Opera house (Vienna State Opera). They play at operas, and perform their own chamber music sessions at selected dates.
Access the current performance schedule of the Vienna State Opera.
4. Join The Ball Of The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Every January, the Philharmonics stage what is in my opinion the best ball in Vienna. Naturally, they would play the tunes for this event. Learn more about the Ball of the Vienna Philharmonics and how to buy tickets.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s Home
The Wiener Musikverein, an imposing 19th century building in the classical style of the Greek Renaissance, has been the home of the Vienna Philharmonics. Concerts at the Musikverein attract music connoisseurs from all over the world.
Located just off Ringstrasse boulevard, the Musikverein hosts the Golden Hall, a sumptuous concert venue for more than 2,000 spectators and location of the annual New Year’s concert. The Musikverein includes six other smaller concert halls, such as the Brahms Hall, or the Gottfried-von-Einem Hall. There are guided tours available through the house, though the best way to experience it is during a concert.
Apart from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Musikverein regularly hosts the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra and the Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna’s two other elite orchestras. Access the concert schedule of the Musikverein.
For more pictures of the Wiener Musikverein, the home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, access my photo gallery of Viennese concert halls and opera houses.