Video: Watch the Vienna Symphony Orchestra Rehearse Frank Wildhorn's 'Danube Symphony'

The performance debuted on 3 November 2022 at the famed Wiener Musikverein in Vienna.

By: Nov. 05, 2022

The world premiere of Frank Wildhorn's "Danube Symphony" took place on Thursday, November 3, in the presence of many domestic and international celebrities at the Vienna Musikverein to standing ovations and prolonged applause, enchanting the audience as well as all participants in the famous venue. Also premiered were suites from Wildhorn's Broadway musicals, "Jekyll & Hyde" and "Dracula".

Watch the rehearsal footage below!

With this world premiere, an absolute lifelong dream came true for Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award nominated composer Frank Wildhorn and his producer Walter Feucht. To be able to witness the world premiere of his own work, performed by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in the Großer Musikvereinssaal, belongs in the league of superlatives for any musician.

Conductor Koen Schoots: "A great honor for me to conduct a great orchestra here in this famous hall. We have all experienced a great success together today. The never-ending applause at the end was an incredibly touching surprise for us. And I really hope that this symphony will have a long life in the future. It is music that is accessible and romantic and has beautiful melodies. It pleases the audience and fits well in the house."

Composer Frank Wildhorn: "Sometimes real life is better than any fantasy. And tonight was like that. I am truly humbled, as an American composer, to be able to experience the world famous Vienna Symphony Orchestra performing my music in this historic hall and overwhelmed by the response of the audience. There were so many things going through my mind, including that my Mom and Dad could not be here today, but I am blessed to be surrounded by my Takako and so many close friends. I was also thinking constantly about Leslie Bricusse, who passed away last year and was like a father to me and with whom I wrote Jekyll & Hyde, and, of course, the "Oh my God" greats - the composers, my heroes and musicians, whose works have been played here before."

The concert was accordingly full of sound, emotion and applause, and was attended by many celebrities, such as the Mayor of Vienna Dr. Michael Ludwig, Chris Lohner, Otto Jaus, Kevin Moore, musical stars and Wildhorn fans Sabrina Weckerlin, Mili Jovanovic, Dorina Garuci as well as Olympic champion Alexandra Timoshenko, Markus Spiegel and many more.

A tear or two was shed by a visibly moved Frank Wildhorn even during the first few minutes as he listened to the sounds of his symphony at the side of his wife Takako aka Yōka Wao in the hall, world-famous for its acoustics.

The "Danube Symphony", nearly 60 minutes long, is a powerful and romantic declaration of love for the river and its history. It tells of the river that - in a total length of 2,857 kilometers - flows through and connects Europe from west to east. It is an American interpretation of European eternity, which takes up a musical tradition - washed by the Danube - and brings it into the here and now. But it was composed far away from Europe in Hawaii.

At the conductor's podium was Koen Schoots as congenial mediator of Wildhorn's vision between composition and orchestra - known in Europe as conductor of various successful productions, among others at the Komische Oper Berlin and as music director for musicals at the Vereinigte Bühnen Wien.

Frank Wildhorn's "Danube Symphony" featuring the 96 piece Vienna Symphony Orchestra was recorded in the Great Hall of the Vienna Konzerthaus and produced by HitSquad Records. It is available everywhere music is streamed and on CD.