The Wiener Symphoniker can look back on an eventful history, an outward sign being the several alterations that its name has undergone. Unforgettable will remain the legendary concert before Pope John XXIII at the Vatican in 1959 as well as the world premieres of such masterpieces as Bruckner’s 9th Symphony, Arnold Schönberg’s Gurrelieder, Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand and Franz Schmidt’s The Book with the Seven Seals. During the First World War, the orchestra was saved from being disbanded only by a fusion with the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, founded in 1913. In 1944 however, the orchestra’s activities came to a halt for eight months.
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