Leading members of Vienna & Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

In the eyes of the audience and the international music critics likewise, there are only two orchestras competing for the leading position: Vienna- and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

In such a situation, the differences between the two ensembles tend to be emphasized: smooth elegance and nobleness of the Viennese, captivating and passionate Berliners, velvety string sound being the virtue of the one, brilliant wind soloists the virtue of the other orchestra.

Under such conditions, it doesn't seem inappropriate to celebrate the creation of the «Chamber Orchestra Vienna — Berlin» as a sensation. However, at a closer look, several important common traits can be noticed: the decade-long cooperation with conductors like Wilhelm Furtwдngler, Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado (both Directors of the Vienna State Opera and chief conductors of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) and Sir Simon Rattle has left its imprints on both orchestras, in addition to the year-long association with a nearly identical list of common guest conductors. As a result, they treasure a refinement of playing, in combination with enormous flexibility and a specific beauty of sound, which makes them unique even in regard to the highly virtuoso American top orchestras.

Though good relations have always been established, it is no secret that they are competitors on the music market. It took the initiative of Sir Simon Rattle, whose wish to conduct a common concert of the Vienna- and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for his 50th birthday united both orchestras for the first time. This experience surprisingly turned out to be so positive that it had to be continued.

Out of this idea, the «Chamber Orchestra Vienna — Berlin» was born. They represent, in a way, the essence of both orchestras, including many of their most renowned musicians. It is their ambition to combine chamber-music-like delicacy and symphonic force in their repertoire. The principle aim and at the same time philosophy of this formation is to achieve a unique creative exchange with exciting experiences for both audiences and musicians.

Since the formation of the «Chamber Orchestra Vienna — Berlin» Rainer Honeck (concert master of the Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera since 1984 and concert master of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra since 1992) acts as primarius and Artistic Director of the Orchestra.

© International Rostropovich Festival “Mstislav Rostropovich Week”, 2010 — 2021