Vienna Philharmonic draws new audiences with free outdoor summertime concert

Posted on: June 2, 2017

“When the Vienna Philharmonic first performed on the park grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace in 2004, the event was intended as a one-time celebration of the European Union’s expansion,” writes Rebecca Schmid in Tuesday’s (5/30) New York Times. “The ‘Concert for Europe’ was such a success, however, that it became an annual fixture, attracting local audiences, tourists and television viewers around the world. … the Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn, as it is now called, has become an important part of the Philharmonic’s brand. The open-air event, which is on Thursday this year, attracts an audience of up to 100,000 and is broadcast to over 80 countries … perhaps most important, performing free of charge in a relaxed setting has opened the storied orchestra to a broader audience at home. … This year’s program, to be conducted by Christoph Eschenbach” includes works by Dvorák and Humperdinck, an excerpt from John Williams’ score for a Harry Potter film, and soprano Renée Fleming. “The conductor recalled that in 2014, the crowd was not daunted by rain and cold temperatures. ‘The audience was full of people in red raincoats,’ he said with a smile. ‘But they stayed until the end and enjoyed it.’ ”

In photo: The Vienna Philharmonic’s 2016 Summer Night Concert, on the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace.

Posted June 2, 2017