Since its founding in 1985 by the distinguished conductor and organist Martin Haselböck, Orchester Wiener Akademie has gained international praise for its unmistakably Austrian musicality, virtuosity, refinement and energy.
Orchester Wiener Akademie is the only Austrian orchestra to offer performances of repertoire from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and early 20th-Century eras on period instruments, as well as performances of contemporary repertoire on modern instruments. It is as renowned for its performances of J.S. Bach, Mozart, Haydn and L.v. Beethoven as it is for its performances of Robert Schumann, L.v. Beethoven, Franz Liszt and Bruckner.
The orchestra’s annual cycle of concerts in Vienna’s Musikverein has become a popular fixture in the city’s musical calendar, with past guest-artists that include Daniel Hope, Thomas Hampson, Elisabeth Kulman, Cyprien Katsaris, Isabelle Faust, Soile Isokoski, Cecilia Bartoli, and many others. The 2012-2013 season will feature first-time collaborations with great artists such as the soprano Anne Schwanewilms in Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder, the actor Tobias Moretti in L.v. Beethoven’s Music for Goethe’s Egmont and fortepianist Ronald Brautigam in Mozart’s Piano Concerto K.503.
As Orchestra-in-Residence of the International Liszt Festival in the composer’s birthplace of Raiding, Burgenland, Wiener Akademie has received international acclaim for its ongoing series of groundbreaking concerts and recordings (NCA) of the complete orchestral music of Franz Liszt. The first CD release in the series, of the Dante-Symphony, was awarded several prizes, including the 2011 Grand Prix du Disque of the Liszt Society, Budapest. The subsequent releases of the tone poems have all been received with unanimous critical praise. Forthcoming releases in this series include the Faust Symphony, Piano Concertos and complete Hungarian Rhapsodies.
In addition to its ongoing Liszt discography, Orchester Wiener Akademie has released more than 40 recordings in a wide range of repertoire, including the masses of Schubert, Bruckner’s First Symphony, Haydn’s three ‘Times of the Day’ symphonies (selected by Gramophone Magazine as the best available period-instrument recording of these works) and rarer works by Johann Joseph Fux, Nicola Porpora and Johann Gottlieb Graun.
Orchester Wiener Akademie tours extensively. In the past two seasons the orchestra has performed in more than 20 countries on three continents. They have appeared at international music festivals and concert series such as the Prague Spring Festival, Frankfurter Fest, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Klangbogen, Carinthischer Sommer, Cuenca Festival, Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, Handel Festival Halle and many others. The orchestra has appeared in major concert halls worldwide, including Barbican Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Toronto’s Massey Hall, Château de Versailles, Palais Garnier, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Izumi Hall Osaka, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Philharmonie Köln, Palau de la Musica and Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
Opera and Theatre is a very important aspect of the work of Orchester Wiener Akademie, both in its own productions and in collaboration. Recent series have included productions of all the major Mozart operas, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and many Haydn operas. The orchestra has performed George Frideric Handel’s Il Trionfo di Tempo e del Disenganno at the Salzburg Festival Barock at Whitsun, Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione and Il Re Pastore for the Vienna Festival Klangbogen and Zaide at the Musikverein in Vienna. In April 2013 the orchestra will travel to Argentina for performances its own acclaimed Salzburg Festival production of G.F. Handel’s Radamisto, at the Theatro Colon, Buenos Aires.
Since 2007 Orchester Wiener Akademie has been the official orchestra of the Burgfestspiele Reinsberg, where they have presented productions of Weber´s Der Freischütz, L.v. Beethoven´s Fidelio (released on DVD by NCA) and G.F. Handel’s Acis & Galatea.
With the actor John Malkovich, Orchester Wiener Akademie premiered two works by Michael Sturminger in 2009 and 2011 respectively: The Infernal Comedy and The Giacomo Variations. The orchestra and Malkovich continue to tour the works extensively throughout the world.