Vienna Philharmonic’s first live performance since March, for an audience of 100

Posted on: June 15, 2020

“The Vienna Philharmonic returned home, and its famous strings purred for the first time since March 10,” writes Ronald Blum in a Tuesday (6/9) Associated Press report. “Its 2,854-seat Musikverein … was filled with only 100 people Friday for the first of three days of programs with Daniel Barenboim. Because of the negligible number, tickets were distributed to family, friends and donors for among the first performances by a major orchestra since the pandemic paused the season. During the three-month gap, the orchestra players struggled to fill their time. Michael Bladerer, a contrabass, recalled talking with Daniel Froschauer, a first violinist. ‘We had a walk every day for one hour just to discuss the issue,’ Bladerer, also the CEO, said in a telephone interview. ‘Even if we are not allowed to play a concert, we want to do some recordings or just to play for ourselves, because we are quite convinced that we need to play as an orchestra,’ interjected Froschauer, the orchestra chairman…. The experience was emotional. Wolfgang Schüssel, Austria’s chancellor from 2000-07, attended Friday’s performance. ‘It was different than we are used to it with the full audience,’ Bladerer said. ‘Of course, it had a little bit more reverb.’ ”