Vienna Philharmonic, symphony orchestra in Vienna, Austria, founded 1842 and based at the Weiner Musikverein. The orchestra is a self-governing institution whose members are selected exclusively from the Vienna State Opera's orchestra, and does not have principal conductors. From 1842 to 1933 subscription conductors led all the concerts in a single season. Otto Nicolai was the first conductor (1842–48), and Otto Dessoff (1872–75) enlarged the repertoire. Hans Richter (1875–82), Gustav Mahler (1898–1901), and Wilhelm Furtwängler (1922–45, 1952–54) were other leading subscription conductors, although Furtwängler was in effect the principal conductor during his tenure. Since 1933, a number of guest conductors have led the orchestra each season. Important artistic collaborations have included those with Arturo Toscanini, Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan, and Leonard Bernstein. During the period of National Socialist rule (1938–45), the Nazi regime politicized the organization and several musicians were forced out. The orchestra is regarded as one of the world's finest, and performs regularly at the Salzburg Festival and other international venues.
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