Unearthing the Links Between Beethoven and the Vienna Philharmonic

(New York Times) — When the Vienna Philharmonic goes on tour next year with a cycle of Beethoven Symphonies, the musicians will not just commemorate the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Recent research is revealing previously undisclosed connections between the composer and the orchestra’s founding members that stretch back over two centuries.

…No less than 10 performers who took part in the world premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in 1824 would go on to become founding members. The first official concert of the Philharmonic, on March 28, 1842, also included Beethoven, opening with his Seventh Symphony.

Ms. Kargl said that the research reveals Beethoven as a kind of “spiritual founding father” for the orchestra. “In order to perform his symphonies in a suitable manner, the first professional symphony orchestra in Vienna was founded,” she said. “And that was the Vienna Philharmonic.” […]

The Vienna Philharmonic's “spiritual Founding Father"