Master Classes

The Vienna Philharmonic Society has partnered with the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall to offer Master Classes featuring woodwind, string and brass for young musicians from local high schools and major conservatories across the United States. The classes will feature instructors who are principal musicians in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to the students selected to participate in each class, the audience is open to high school and conservatory age musicians and teachers who can also benefit from observing the lessons with a principal musician.

Our first Master Classes premiered in February of 2017 and featured students of the flute, the cello and the trombone. Described as one of the most intense Master Classes they have ever attended, students learned how to bring the pieces to life by knowing the background and the history of the piece, the importance of the markings of the composer and using breathing and technical modifications to achieve greater variation in tone and intensity. They received guidance on playing solo as well as orchestral compositions and students and instructors were left wishing they had more time for learning and teaching.

Our 2018 Master Classes featured the clarinet, the violin and the trumpet. The lessons from the 2017 classes were echoed and added an emphasis on legato – learning techniques to help play in a smooth flowing manner, without breaks between notes and remembering to enjoy playing the music, releasing the tension of too much focus on the playing of the notes.

Interviews with Master Class students



Master Class Instructors

A String Orchestra Workshop

Workshops will debut in 2019 to offer music instruction to aspiring musicians from around the country. Focused on string instruments, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra musicians will share multiple techniques to help the music come alive off the page. This will include knowing the background of the piece and the composer, following the markings of the piece, the use of tempo, and how to maximize the variation in sound through the use of the bow.


A Side by Side Concert

The Side by Side program will be a unique and inspiring collaboration in the Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall featuring 80-100 high school musicians and 30-40 members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In conjunction with the Weill Music Institute and their teachers, students will practice the pre-selected piece for close to a year in anticipation of this program. On the day of the Side by Side, they will rehearse with the Orchestra’s guest conductor and musicians of the Orchestra for approximately 90 minutes prior to performing a 35-40 minute concert for an invited audience of family, friends and other aspiring musicians. This Side by Side program will include a diverse representation of instruments allowing for students to experience the synergy of many different individual sounds coming together into the beautiful music of an orchestra. Following the Side by Side program, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a brief concert for the musicians and the audience, providing them the opportunity to experience the level of sound quality achieved by their mentor musicians through their years of learning, playing and practice.


Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Rehearsal at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to our collaboration with Carnegie Hall, music students will have the special opportunity to attend a Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Rehearsal. Before the rehearsal begins they will participate in music education activities designed around the music to be performed. Rehearsals are of particular importance for the Vienna Philharmonic as they play with many different conductors, rather than most orchestras which play under a single conductor for years at a time. After the rehearsal, musicians will share how the rehearsal impacts the quality of their performance in concert and students will have the opportunity to ask questions.


Fellowships in Vienna, Austria

Fellowships with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will be established for Graduate Level students in Vienna under the mentorship of both a VPO principal musician and the Orchestra itself. They will receive instruction through Master Classes, attend Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra rehearsals, participate in chamber music groups with musicians from the Orchestra and immerse themselves in the culture of Viennese music and the Vienna sound.