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Back from Vienna, the Luther College Symphony Orchestra performs in Decorah

Posted: Thu, Feb 7, 2019 9:52 AM
The Luther College Symphony Orchestra performs in the Great Hall of the Musikverein

The Luther College Symphony Orchestra has just returned from a 3-week residency in Vienna.

The 2019 Vienna residency consisted of daily rehearsals and coursework, which included visits to museums and other cultural sites in Vienna.  In the evenings, students attended operas, ballets and concerts at the city's Konzerthaus, Staatsoper and Musikverein. Luther College's Vienna residency is a unique opportunity among undergraduate Symphony Orchestra programs. It has been offered every four years since the 1970's.

During the 2019 Vienna residency, the Symphony Orchestra performed at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, Slovakia and at the Kultur Kongress Zentrum Eisenstadt in Eisenstadt, Austria. The capstone event was performing at the famed Musikverein in Vienna --  home of the Vienna Philharmonic and recognized as one of the finest concert halls in the world. 

Director Daniel Baldwin says, "The 'Great Hall' (Großer Saal) of the Wiener Musikverein is arguably the most famous, most celebrated, and most important concert hall on the planet. Since the late 19th century, every symphony orchestra and every conductor of consequence has performed at the Musikverein. Its acoustics are legendary and second to none. The Musikverein is home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra -- one of the great orchestras in the world."

Baldwin says performing at the Musikverein is a singular achievement in itself, representing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most, if not all, of the students. "It was a performance and thrill we will never forget," added Baldwin.

The symphony orchestra received a sustained standing ovation from an audience of 1,200 at the Musikverein. "It was very thrilling and quite a point of pride for Luther College," says Luther Music Marketing and Tours Interim Coordinator Karen Martin-Schramm.

Luther's Symphony Orchestra is comprised of 86 student musicians studying a range of academic disciplines.  The Orchestra performs under the direction of Luther College professor of music Daniel Baldwin.

Part of the audience at Luther's performance