A Sound Tradition – A Short History of the Vienna Philharmonic Society In commemoration of the 175th Anniversary of the founding of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Society commissioned ‘A Sound Tradition, A Short History of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’ to celebrate the rich history of the Orchestra, and to educate and inspire current and future admirers of the Viennese sound of the Orchestra

‘A Sound Tradition’ tells the story of the birth of the Orchestra, the significance and distinctiveness of this unique musical body, historic facts, interesting anecdotes, and glimpses behind the scenes of rehearsal, opera and concert activities which allows us to access a deeper understanding and even greater affection for this thoroughly Viennese and yet international orchestra.

Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz narrates the story of the inception of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in March of 1842, the collaborations with great conductors, the special quality of the Viennese sound, how the Orchestra embedded itself from the start in the cultural and political history of Vienna and how great personalities and historical events propelled its musical evolution. The Vienna Philharmonic musicians have been both the guardians of a tradition and the bearers of new ideas. The principles and visions of the Orchestra’s founders are reflected in 21st century commitments to social responsibility, international youth programs, as well as local and global initiatives promoting peace and cultural understanding.

Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz is the Chief Dramaturg of the Vienna Volksoper. He is an acclaimed author, moderator and actor on stage, television (Opera Ball) and radio (“Pasticcio” and the New Year’s Concert.) He was director of the Theatersommer Haag from 2013 to 2016. His recent publications in Amalthea Press: “’Es grünt so grün …‘ Musicals at the Vienna Volksoper“ (2007), “Schon geht der nächste Schwan. A Declaration of Love for the Opera in Anecdotes” (2009), “Schwan drüber! New Antiques from Opera and Real Life” (2012), “They Knew Richard Strauss: A Genius in Closeup” (2013) and “Nochmal Schwan gehabt” (2015).

John Hargraves is a well-known translator of German literature and was awarded the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize for translation. His translations include novels, essays, and works on Bach and other composers. Mr. Hargraves is also the author of a book on music in the writings of Hermann Broch and Thomas Mann. After obtaining his Ph.D. in German, he taught at Yale and Connecticut College. When he is not translating, Mr. Hargraves plays piano for his cabaret group, “The Six of Clubs,” five singers performing in various clubs in New York and elsewhere. He is on the Board of the Vienna Philharmonic Society, the MacDowell Colony and the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz
A Sound Tradition
A Short History of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
224 pages, with numerous illustrations
Amalthea, ISBN 978-3-99050-109-2

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