The orchestra’s Musikverein concert venue will open its doors to audiences on the basis of a number of social distancing regulations


The Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert 2020 with Andris Nelsons © Terry Linke

The Vienna Philharmonic has announced that it will resume performing for live audiences from June, subject to social distancing regulations designed to keep Covid-19 at bay. The move follows a study into musicians’ breath, commissioned by the orchestra, that demonstrated ‘no increased risk to orchestral musicians’ from concerts.

A full schedule of performances for the month has been published on the website of the Musikverein, the orchestra’s concert venue in Vienna. Performances will take place in both the Musikverein’s Main Hall and smaller Glass Hall, for a maximum of 100 audience members on each occasion.

Those attending will be required to wear a mask when entering the building, which can be removed once they take their assigned seat. Concerts will be 50 to 70 minutes in length without an interval to avoid crowds forming in the foyer. Each assigned seat will be separate and distanced from its neighbours - for organisational reasons, those from the same household will not be permitted to sit together in a single group. 

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The first concert will take place on 5 June - a performance by the Vienna Philharmonic of Mozart’s Piano Concerto no.27 and Beethoven’s Symphony no.5 with soloist and conductor Daniel Barenboim.

Further concerts throughout the month will feature the Philharmonic and conductors Riccardo Muti and Franz Welser-Möst in Schubert and Strauss, and the Vienna Symphony and conductors Philippe Jordan and Manfred Honeck in Beethoven, Verdi and Tchaikovsky. There will also be solo and chamber performances by artists including Julian Rachlin, Daniel Barenboim, Rudolf Buchbinder, the Artis Quartet, Alban Berg Ensemble and Altenberg Trio. 

A statement on the Vienna Philharmonic website reads: 

’We are very pleased that after a long break, our concert activity will gradually resume in June with individual concerts performed before small audiences in the Musikverein. Due to official regulations, the number of visitors is extremely limited and there will therefore be no public sale of tickets.

A small contingent of tickets will go to family members and supporters who have accompanied us through this crisis. We kindly ask for your understanding and will do everything possible to ensure dissemination to a wider audience through broadcasts and streams. We hope to see you again when our subscription concerts resume in October.’