A Viennese institution
The Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra can rightly claim to be one of the most authentic ensembles for interpreting the music of the Strauss dynasty.
In 1966 — nearly 120 years after Johann Strauss I had founded the Strauss Orchestra, the great demand for high-quality interpretations of light music led a group of musicians in Vienna who belonged to the small ensemble of the Austrian Radio Orchestra to found the Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra. The aim of new orchestra was to cultivate the music of the Strauss dynasty, together with so-called ‘light’ Viennese music. It was formed of forty-two musicians, that it to say the ensemble was the same size as that which, according to authentic accounts, was preferred by the members of the Strauss family.
In the year it was founded the orchestra made a six-week tour of America and Canada under the conductorship of Eduard Strauss II, the great-nephew of Johann Strauss II. In doing so it was following in the tracks of the famous Strauss Orchestra, with which Eduard Strauss I had made two concert tours of the USA and Canada before he nally disbanded the orchestra in New York in 1901.
After the far too early death of the last professional musician of the Strauss dynasty, Eduard II, in 1969, the post of conductor was taken over by a man whose name is connected down to the present day with the tradition of the New Year’s Day concerts like that of no other: Willi Boskovsky.
Under his baton and bow there began a busy round of tours which still continues today and which has taken the orchestra not only right across Europe but also to the USA, South America, Korea, Russia, China and above all to Japan, where it will give its thirty-fourth tour in 2017.
The Boskovsky era also saw the beginning of increased activity in the eld of recording, reaching its peak in the 1970s, when almost the entire output of the Strauss dynasty was recorded for Austrian Radio (ORF). Meanwhile the number of recordings has reached almost 1,000 titles, with some 190 albums having been released worldwide.
After the death of Boskovsky there were three conductors who worked with the or- chestra for most of its tours and concerts: Kurt Wöss, Walter Goldschmidt and Alfred Eschwé.
Since 1983 Alfred Eschwé has appeared regularly with the orchestra and has thus made a signi cant contribution to the development of its unique sound and the typically Viennese way in which it plays music.
Recently the orchestra has also worked with conductors such as Vladimir Fedoseyev, Franz Bauer-Theussl, Martin Sieghart and Ola Rudner. Since 2008 it has been working intensively with Johannes Wildner and since 2010 it is exclusively Wildner and Eschwé who have conducted the ensemble.
Since 1981 the Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra has regularly given concerts in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, and since 1999 this has also been the venue for its own cycle of concerts.
Countries visited since 1966:
Argentina | Austria | Belgium | Bosnia Herzegovina | Brazil | Canada | Chile | China | Croatia | Czech Republic | France | Germany | Irland | Italy | Japan | Latvia | Lebanon | Liechtenstein | Luxembourg | Mexico | Monaco | Netherlands | Paraguay | Poland | Russia | Switzerland | Serbia | Slovenia | South Korea | Spain | Turkey | USA | Uruguay
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