Vienna Philharmonic

Vienna Philharmonic is one of the most famous philharmonic orchestra’s in Europe, with its high-profile coming from the annual, globally televised New Year’s concert.

The New Year’s concert, televised to over 50 countries, is performed from the philharmonic’s home concert hall, the Vienna Musikverein.

The beautiful Musikverein was built from 1867-1869, from plans by Danish architect Theopil Hansen (whose other works in Vienna include the city’s Neoclassical masterpiece, Austrian parliament building).

Musikverein’s main concert venue is ‘Great Hall‘, one of the finest concert spaces anywhere, in terms of acoustics.

Musikverein Vienna Austria

PHOTO: The philharmonic’s ‘Musikverein’ concert house. Ticket sales to the concerts take place from a side entrance, to the left of the picture.

The Musikverein was, in fact, uniquely purpose-built and designed, withbest possible acoustics in mind.

For example, the roof of the building is not directly attached to the walls, giving additional room for sound vibration…

…and the large, (empty) room below the Grand Hall is solely there for providing better acoustics.

Musikverein and its philharmonic orchestra, founded over 170 years ago,in 1842, are central to Vienna’s musical life.

Partly, this is thanks to the proximity to another landmark in the city’s classical music scene, the Vienna State Opera house.

In fact, there is a very close working relationship between the two, as new members to the philharmonic are exclusively chosen from musicians playing for the opera orchestra.

The philharmonic orchestra’s position in Europe was well described byRichard Strauss, who stated that:

“All praise of the Vienna Philharmonic can only be underestimations”.

As for the New Year’s concert, with a long tradition in the orchestra’s history, has always consisted from compositions from Johann Strauss’ family, and his contemporaries.

Vienna Philharmonic

Address: Kärntner Ring 12, A-1010 Vienna, Austria

Official website:

The New Year’s concert tradition was started during a particularly dark period in Austria’s history, with the intention to remind people of better times, and to give hope for the future…

…both fitting themes for the start of a year, even today.