World Premiere of Frank Wildhorn's 'Danube Symphony' to be Presented by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra

This marks the first time that an American composer has been admitted to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra’s (Wiener Symphoniker’s) repertoire. 

By: Oct. 17, 2022
World Premiere of Frank Wildhorn's 'Danube Symphony' to be Presented by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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The Vienna Symphony Orchestra will World Premiere Frank Wildhorn's "Danube Symphony"/"Donau Symphonie" on 3 November 2022 at the famed Wiener Musikverein in Vienna with special suites from Wildhorn's Broadway classics, Jekyll & Hyde and Dracula also making their symphonic debuts. Wildhorn is the Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award nominated Composer of Whitney Houston's number-one-hit "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" and became the first American composer in twenty-two years to have three shows running simultaneously on Broadway with Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Civil War. The "Danube Symphony"/The "Donau Symphonie", marks the first time that an American composer is admitted to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra's (Wiener Symphoniker's) repertoire.

The evening's programme, conducted by Koen Schoots and performed by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (Wiener Symphoniker) is comprised of a completely new slate of music, including: the "Jekyll & Hyde" suite (Arranged and Orchestrated by Kim Scharnberg) and the "Dracula" suite (Arranged and Orchestrated by Koen Schoots) followed by The "Danube Symphony"/"Donau Symphonie" (Arranged and Orchestrated by Kim Scharnberg), all Composed by Frank Wildhorn.

First, came the CD production of the Composer's first Symphony- capturing the composition with an extraordinarily large cast of 96 members of the Vienna Symphony, recorded by MG-SOUND STUDIOS at the Viennese Konzerthaus in 2021, produced by HitSquad Records. Now, in 2022, the _same sixty minutes that make up the recording are celebrated with what will be a first climax in the composition's history: its world premiere at the historical Wiener Musikverein. Both are with the vision and support of Walter Feucht - entrepreneur and musical-enthusiast - in whom Frank Wildhorn has not only found a friend, but also a mentor.

The palatial great hall of the Musikverein (Großer Musikvereinssaal) with its inimitable acoustics, famously hosts the Vienna Philharmonic's annual New Year's Concert (Neujahrskonzert), making it a household name among millions of music lovers. The concert's second encore - traditionally Johann Strauß II's "An der schönen blauen Donau" (The Blue Danube) - is similarly dedicated to Europe's second largest river, further connecting Wildhorn's "Donau Symphonie" with the historicity of its premiere's location - while still filling it with entirely new sounds.

The symphony describes a delicately blossoming spring, or a waltzing Viennese summer, as well as heroic processions and a history of the Danube contorted by the changing of the seasons.

The sixty minutes that comprise The "Donau Symphonie" are a vastly romantic declaration of love to the river and its history, reiterating the story of a stream of 1770 miles, which traverses Europe from West to East as a unifying force. It is an American interpretation of European immortality that takes up a water-locked musical tradition and transports it into the present.

In the conductor's stand - congenially mediating Wildhorn's vision between composition and orchestra is Koen Schoots, whose work on a variety of highly successful productions including the Komische Oper Berlin as well as his many years as musical director of the Vereinigten Bühnen in Vienna have left him well-known and regarded throughout Europe.

"Frank Wildhorn has created beautiful, emotional music with lots of heart", praises Anton Sorokow, concertmaster at The Vienna Symphony.

ABOUT Frank Wildhorn

Multi-Grammy, Tony, and Emmy Award nominated composer/producer Frank Wildhorn's works span the worlds of popular, theatrical, and classical music. In 1999, Frank became the first American composer in 22 years to have three shows running simultaneously on Broadway with Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Civil War. Also for Broadway: Bonnie & Clyde, Dracula, Victor/Victoria, Wonderland, and the revival of Jekyll & Hyde. West End: Bonnie & Clyde. International: Carmen, Camille Claudel, Casanova, Cyrano, Death Note, Fist of the North Star, Mata Hari, Mitsuko, Never Say Goodbye, No Longer Human, Rudolf, Tears of Heaven, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Man Who Laughs, Your Lie in April and Xcalibur. Upcoming: Song of Bernadette and Reunion. He Produced Harlem Song at the famed Apollo Theatre. The Korea Times recently proclaimed Wildhorn as "Korea's most loved musical composer".

Wildhorn's full length "Danube Symphony" will be performed by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in a World Premiere on November 3, 2022 at Musikverein. Conducted by Koen Schoots, the performance will also feature suites from the Wildhorn productions of "Jekyll and Hyde" and "Dracula" with orchestrations by Kim Scharnberg and Koen Schoots, respectively. The "Danube Symphony"/"Donau Symphonie" marks the first time the work of an American composer will be admitted to the repertoire of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. The "Danube Symphony'' was released on CD and streaming services in December 2021 through HitSquad Records.

Frank served as music director for the Goodwill Games in New York City (1998). He wrote the song "Gold", the opening number for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Among the artists who have recorded and performed Frank's works: Whitney Houston (#1 international hit "Where Do Broken Hearts Go?"), Natalie Cole, Kenny Rogers, Sammy Davis, Jr., Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews, Hootie & the Blowfish, The Moody Blues, Johnny Mathis, Linda Eder, Freddie Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Stacy Lattisaw, Molly Hatchet, Blues Traveler, Trace Adkins, Patti LaBelle, Jeffrey Osborne, BeBe Winans, Amy Grant, Anthony Warlow, to name a few.

He received the prestigious Charles Dickens Award from USC, where there is a scholarship under his name and is an Associate Artist at The Alley Theatre in Houston.