Co Founder Of Vienna Philharmonic: The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which was created in 1842, is widely regarded as one of the world’s best orchestras.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is based in the Musikverein in the Austrian capital of Vienna. The orchestra’s musicians are drawn from the ranks of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. The selection procedure is time-consuming, with each artist establishing their ability to perform for the opera and ballet for a minimum of three years before being considered.
Following the completion of this probationary period, the musician may submit an application to the Vienna Philharmonic’s board of directors for consideration for a position in the orchestra.
Until the 1830s, orchestral performances in Vienna were carried out by ad hoc orchestras, which were made up of professional and (often) amateur musicians who were gathered together for specific performances only. In 1833, Franz Lachner founded the Künstlerverein, which was the forerunner of the Vienna Philharmonic. It was an orchestra of professional musicians drawn from the Vienna Court Opera (Wiener Hofoper, now the Vienna State Opera), and it performed four concerts, each of which included a Beethoven symphony.
In 1842, the Vienna Philharmonic was founded by a group of musicians who met regularly at the inn ‘Zum Amor,’ among whom were the poet Nikolaus Lenau, newspaper editor August Schmidt, critic Alfred Becker, violinist Karlz Holz, Count Laurecin, and composer Otto Nicolai, who also served as the principal conductor of a standing orchestra at a Viennese theatre at the time of its founding.
According to Mosco Carner’s New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, “Nicolai was the least enthused about the plan, and had to be persuaded by the others; he conducted the first performance on March 28, 1842.
The orchestra was completely independent, comprised of members of the Hofoper orchestra, and made all of its decisions through a democratic vote of its members. Its day-to-day management was managed by an administrative committee that was elected by the orchestra’s members in a democratic election.
Nicolai and the orchestra performed only 11 concerts over the next five years, and by the time Nicolai departed Vienna in 1847, the orchestra was on the verge of disbanding (New Grove notes the disruption caused by the Revolution of 1848 as a hindrance).
While Karl Eckert was the first permanent conductor of the Vienna Court Opera (Wiener Hofoper) between 1854 and 1857, his associate orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, performed a few concerts under his direction.
With his appointment as Director of the Hofoper in 1857, Eckert became the first musician in history to hold the position; the following year, he conducted four subscription concerts of the Vienna Philharmonic. Clemens Hellsberg, a violinist and head of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, states that “the ‘Philharmonic Concerts’ have been staged without interruption” since that time.