The Wiener Symphoniker was founded in 1900 and consolidated in 1921 from the ranks of another Viennese orchestra. Their first permanent conductor was Ferdinand Lowe, a noted pupil of Anton Bruckner, who conducted the premiere of Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 and led the orchestra for its first 24 years. Although it never aspired to the reputation of the Vienna Philharmonic, The Wiener Symphoniker's guest conductors during the early 20th century included many names more commonly associated with the better-known orchestras, among them Felix Weingartner, Gustav Mahler, Bruno Walter, Richard Strauss, and Arnold Schoenberg. The Wiener Symphoniker was taken over by the city of Vienna in 1938 as a municipal orchestra. After World War II, with the resumption of artistic life in Vienna, the orchestra came under the direction of Herbert Von Karajan, who was kept from working with the more prestigious Philharmonic by his rival Wilhelm Furtwangler. The Wiener Symphoniker also became the orchestra of choice for early recordings by such noted conductors as Otto Klemperer and Jascha Horenstein, and also served as host to such figures as Ferenc Fricsay and even Karl Bohm. The latter recorded Richard Strauss' Daphne, a notably beautiful though little-known opera, the premiere of which he had conducted in the 1930s with The Wiener Symphoniker. ~ Bruce Eder
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