The Unsecure Future of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

More+Events ♦ Published: August 24, 2020; 10:08 ♦ (Vindobona)

Daniel Froschauer, a member of the board of directors of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and classical violinist tells in a talk with APA how the orchestra dealt with the Coronavirus crisis. Strict restrictions were introduced however many concerts had to be and still will be cancelled.

This year, only a few people can attend the Summer Night Concert. The rest can watch in on television. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / leonhard.konitsch [CC BY 2.0 (]

Due to the COVID-19 crisis which led to the lockdown in March, it was not possible anymore for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to give any concerts for more than 3 months. This has never happened in their 179 years history.

Therefore, the team organised tests and implemented mandatory masks and strict social distancing. The orchestra members also had to reduce their social contacts in order to prevent themselves from infections. Moreover, before the day of a concert, all members are tested. Once a test was unclear and the person was isolated and was not allowed to play at the concert. Nevertheless, all tests have always been negative.

A major problem which the players are facing is the income loss. As members of the opera they received 80% short time work however as Philharmonic they are working as self-employed and do not earn money without any concerts.

Additionally, the planned trip to Asia in autumn cannot be done which leads to a further loss in income for the orchestra and its members. Also, the function as a worldwide ambassador for classical music cannot be fulfilled.

On September 18 the yearly Summer Night Concert takes place however in a different form. This year it is not possible to freely attend the concert in Schönbrunn but only a few seats can be reserved. Daniel Froschauer is appealing to the fans to watch it rather on television.

According to Froschauer, there is no concept for the New Year Concert yet, but he cannot imagine to perform in a completely empty hall. Nonetheless, it is very important to him that the New Year Concert is not excepted from any COVID-19 regulations.