Vienna proudly boasts one of the finest professional orchestras in the world in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. However, the VPO is not the only orchestra in this musically rich city. In a time when most American cities can barely support one orchestra, the city of Vienna, with a population of less than 2 million, has four full-time professional orchestras! In addition to the VPO, there is the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Tonkünstler Orchester and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Also, two important professional chamber orchestras complete the picture. There is the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Concentus Musicus Wien, an ensemble that specializes in early music played on period instruments.
One cannot discuss concert life in Vienna without mentioning the great concert halls of the city. The two most important complexes are the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus, with a combined 14 concert halls being found within their walls! The Musikverein is especially prized. Its Golden Hall is generally considered one of the three acoustically perfect concert halls in the world (along with Boston’s Symphony Hall and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam).
These concert halls are not only the primary venues for all of Vienna’s orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists, but they also provide performance space for all major performers from Europe and the rest of the world. Any top-ranked artist, ensemble or orchestra touring continental Europe from the U. S., the U. K., South America, Russia or Asia will come through Vienna, and will play at either the Musikverein or Konzerthaus.