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There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more consistently and closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic. In the course of its history, the musicians of this most prominent orchestra of the capital city of music have been an integral part of a musical epoch which due to an abundance of uniquely gifted composers and interpreters must certainly be regarded as unique.

The orchestra's close association with this rich musical history is best illustrated by the statements of countless pre-eminent musical personalities of the past. Richard Wagner described the orchestra as being one of the most outstanding in the world; Anton Bruckner called it "the most superior musical association"; Johannes Brahms counted himself as a "friend and admirer"; Gustav Mahler claimed to be joined together with the orchestra through "the bonds of musical art"; and Richard Strauss summarized these sentiments by saying: "All praise of the Vienna Philharmonic reveals itself as understatement."

Current album

Sommernachtskonzert 2019 / Summer Night Concert 2019

Artists Wiener Philharmoniker

Release Date: 07/05/2019

Sony Classical is proud to announce the release of this year’s Summer Night Concert 2019 with the Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel with pianist Yuja Wang as soloist.  

The Summer Night Concert was performed this year on June 20th 2019. It is an annual open-air event, which has been held since 2008. The previous series was the “Concert for Europe”, which took place from 2004 until 2007. The park of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna/Austria is the magical setting for the concert, which is free of charge for all residents and visitors of the city. The illustrious conductors who have previously led the orchestra at this event are Georges Prêtre, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Möst, Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Christoph Eschenbach, Zubin Mehta and Semyon Bychkov.  

Thanks to its UNESCO World Heritage setting in the Baroque park of Schönbrunn with the palace as a backdrop, the Summer Night Concert adds great visual charm to its superb musical quality. This event is classical music at its very best – made accessible to a broad public. Millions of viewers and listeners in more than 80 countries can follow the concert online, on TV and radio, and up to 100,000 Viennese and their guests assembled on the Great Parterre at the heart of Schönbrunn Park for the event.  

Central to the programme of the Vienna Philharmonic’s 2019 Summer Night Concert was a musical history of the United States of America: the works that were heard this year were composed in or for the USA, while also constituting links with the Viennese musical tradition. 

Gustavo Dudamel, Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is one of the most decorated conductors of his generation. One of the few classical musicians to truly reach mainstream audiences while maintaining the highest musical integrity, Gustavo Dudamel has been featured three times on CBS’ 60 Minutes and was the subject of a PBS special, Dudamel: Conducting a Life. He had a cameo role in Amazon Studio’s award-winning series Mozart in the Jungle and, together with members of YOLA, became the first classical musician to participate in the Super Bowl Halftime Show.  

Dudamel has been a regular guest conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic and on tour. He performed with the orchestra for the first time in 2007, returned in 2010, and enchanted a wide audience at the 2012 Summer Night Concert in Vienna. Two years later, he opened the 2014 season at the Theater an der Wien as well as the traditional Vienna Philharmonic Week in Japan in the same year. In 2017, he was the youngest-ever conductor to lead the Vienna Philharmonic’s famous New Year’s Day Concert.  

A lifelong advocate for music education and social development through art, Dudamel himself was shaped by his childhood experience with El Sistema, the extraordinary program of immersive musical training initiated in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu. Entering his 19th year as Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Dudamel also carries on the work of his late mentor with his ongoing commitment to El Sistema in Venezuela, and by supporting numerous Sistema-inspired projects around the world. 

The Beijing-born pianist Yuja Wang, is celebrated for her charismatic artistry and captivating stage presence. Her international breakthrough came in 2007 when she replaced Martha Argerich as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 2017 Yuja Wang was named Musical America’s Artist of the Year.  

The pianist tours with some of the world’s most venerated ensembles and conductors. This season includes the Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Andris Nelsons, followed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Kirill Petrenko as well as the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev to name a few. She also performed with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at Versailles for the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War with a symbolic "Concert for Peace". In 2019, she is featured as an Artist-in-Residence at three of the world’s premiere venues: New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Wiener Konzerthaus and also at the Luxembourg Philharmonie.  

The 177-year old tradition of the Vienna Philharmonic goes back to 1842, when Otto Nicolai conducted a Grand Concert with all members of the imperial “Hof-Operntheater”. This event was originally called “Philharmonic  

Academy” and is regarded as the origin of the orchestra. Since its founding, the orchestra has been managed by the administrative committee – a democratically elected body – and works with artistic, organisational and financial autonomy. All decisions are reached on a democratic basis during the general meeting of all members. 

Sony Classical will release the unique concert experience on CD, DVD, Blu-ray as well as digitally.