Vienna Philharmonic & Valery Gergiev
Summer Night's Concert 2018
The Vienna Philharmonic’s Summer Night Concert 2018 at Schönbrunn will be conducted on Thursday 31 May by Valery Gergiev. The evening’s soloist has been named as soprano Anna Netrebko. Once again this year, the concert – this “gift of the Vienna Philharmonic to all music lovers” – is being recorded by Sony Classical. The annual open-air concerts have been held for the past ten years, having been introduced as successors to the “Concerts for Europe” staged between 2004 and 2007. The illustrious conductors who have directed the Summer Night Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic include Georges Prêtre, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Möst, Gustavo Dudamel, Lorin Maazel, Christoph Eschenbach, Zubin Mehta and Semyon Bychkov.
Again this year, the Summer Night Concert is being given in the Baroque parkland of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Schönbrunn Palace. Free admission allows all Viennese citizens and the city’s guests the opportunity to experience this extraordinary musical event against the enchanting backdrop of the Palace and its grounds. Each year, a concert audience of some 100,000 gathers in the heart of the Schönbrunn Palace park. In addition, millions of viewers and listeners in more than 80 countries are able to follow the concert on the internet, radio and television.
The 2018 Summer Night Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic bears the title “An Italian Night” and will feature selected works from the operatic and ballet repertoire of Italian and Russian composers. Conductor Valery Gergiev is an acknowledged connoisseur and master of this music. Gergiev was appointed Artistic Director of the Kirov Opera in Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, in 1988. Since 1996 he has been in overall charge of the opera house, known once more since 1992 under its original name, the Mariinsky Theatre. From 2007 to 2015 he directed the London Symphony Orchestra; since 2015 Valery Gergiev has been Principal Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic. He has been a regular partner of Anna Netrebko for almost two and a half decades: the soprano launched her exceptional singing career at the Mariinsky Theatre under Gergiev in 1994 and is now – between Vienna and New York, London and Milan, Salzburg and Saint Petersburg – one of the most highly sought-after singers in the world.
The 176-year-old tradition of the Vienna Philharmonic goes back to the year 1842, when Otto Nicolai directed a “Grand Concert” presented by “all the Members of the Orchestra of the Royal & Imperial Court Opera Theatre”. This “Philharmonic Academy”, as it was originally called, is considered to mark the birth of the orchestra, which is independent and self-governing in artistic, organisational and financial matters: all decisions are democratically determined by the general assembly of active members.