By Alkis Karmpaliotis, High School Student
Founder of AppreciateOpera.org
The Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert, performed every June at Schöbrunn Palace with free entry, is, along with the New Year's Concert, one of the orchestra's yearly internationally broadcast concerts. Like the New Year's Concert, conducting the Summer Night Concert is considered a great honor. Unlike the New Year's Concert, however, which exclusively contains Viennese music, the Summer Night Concert program varies from year to year, having featured everything from Wagner to Paganini. The sole constant in every year's concert is that it always ends with Johann Strauss II's wonderful waltz, Wiener Blut (Viennese Blood).
This year's concert is scheduled to take place on June 8, and its conductor is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Here are my picks of the conductors most likely to direct the event, in order of likelihood:
Hrůša is one of the world's most rapidly ascending conductors, having conducted several concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic this season. He will go on tour with the orchestra in May and is also scheduled to join them in the prestigious Salzburg Festival.
Jordan is a well-respected figure in Vienna, having served as chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera in the last decade. He frequently collaborates with the Vienna Philharmonic; in fact, he is conducting two concerts in the Wiener Konzerthaus a few days before the Summer Night Concert.
Chailly is one of the Vienna Philharmonic's closest associates, so it should come as no surprise that he is featured on this list. He is scheduled to conduct subscription concerts with the orchestra only a few days after the Summer Night Concert.
Muti has been, throughout his long and storied career, perhaps the Vienna Philharmonic's favorite conductor, having led six New Year's Concerts, spanning from 1993 to 2021, and dozens of subscription concerts. Somehow, however, he has never conducted the Summer Night Concert. Who knows? Maybe this could be his year.
It is rare for the scheduled conductor of the New Year's Concert to also conduct the Summer Night Concert; however, Thielemann is one of the Vienna Philharmonic's closest artistic partners, so it is always possible that he might lead this year's festivities.
You may have noticed that all the aforementioned conductors would, if selected, be making their Summer Night Concert debuts. This does not exclude the possibility of a former conductor of the concert returning to the stage. Some past conductors that could potentially conduct this year's concert include, in order of likelihood: Franz Welser-Möst, Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Harding, and Zubin Mehta.
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