Vienna issues first drag queen classical record

Vienna issues first drag queen classical record


norman lebrecht

May 25, 2018

Winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.


  • barry guerrero says:

    Wien bleibt Wien . . . or does it?

  • John Borstlap says:

    Deeply embarrassing….. a populist move of one of the great Middle-European orchestras.

    • Zeitgeist83 says:

      I’m sorry, I don’t think this is the first time either the Berlin or Vienna Philharmonics have done “populist” albums or events. The New Years day concert is pretty trashy and Waldbühne, well need I say more? Anyway they’re not ivory towers in need to be sheltered from progress at the cost of the tax payer. They’re institutions which need to change with the times, justify their existence and make some good hard cash in the process. At least they’re acknowledging their gay fan base.

  • Caravaggio says:


  • Sweedmusic says:

    Fantastic! Wien bleibt Wien!
    In Wien music is still seen as both art and entertainment – as it was in the time of Johan Strauss.

  • John Ramster says:

    Ms Wurst has a great voice, could have had an operatic career if she’d wanted. Her Eurovision winning song is a really tough sing, and would challenge any classically trained artist. I’ve no idea how good this album is but I’ll give it a listen – with an instrument like Conchita’s, there’s no reason for it to be bad, Good luck to her, and to the orchestra.

    • Sirkka Laitinen says:

      I agree with you completely! Conchita aka Tom Neuwirth is currently my favourite singer. The timbre, the power, the technique and emotion of his voice stole my heart from the first moment I heard him singing over four years ago. I’m coming to Vienna in October to attend his concert with this orchestra. It will be an amazing night. How do I know this? Because I’ve already been to several of his concerts, for example at the London Palladium with the BBC Orchestra last February, and I’ll never forget that breathtaking experience!

  • mr oakmountain says:

    It’s not a classical record. It’s orchestrated pop music and the VSO took the gig. Big deal. LSO and other classical musicians from the UK are on hundreds of pop songs. Get over it, it’s not a big deal.

  • Edgar says:

    Much to do about nothing, really. Nice clickbait, Norman, true to yourself. Hopefully you won’t be accused of homophobia, which your headline could imply. Conchita Wurst may not be to everyone’s liking because of who she is. That’s bad enough. I will hear tje recording in time and only then will be in the position to judge it on its musical merits. Everything else us pride and prejudice ( though not Conchita’s!).

    • Caravaggio says:

      What homophobia? This Wurst person IS a drag queen. No mystery there.

      • Jocelyne Peltier says:

        Conchita is first and foremost a SINGER with an amazing voice and his previous performances with classical orchestras were stunning (London, Sydney, Berlin, Hamburg….)
        The ‘drag’ act is such a small part. CLOSE your eyes and just LISTEN and I dare you to say Tom Neuwirth is not tremendously talented !!!

  • John Borstlap says:

    One begins to better understand the VPO’s scepticism vis-a-vis feminization of orchestras.

  • Maria Martinez Moreno says:

    Depois de ouvir a linda e perfeita apresentação da Conchita no Palladium e a participação na festa de 60 anos da orquestra de Vienna, tenho certeza que estão fazendo um trabalho maravilhoso!

  • Victoria says:

    Can’t wait to hear the album! Conchita aka Thomas has a brilliant voice!

  • Leena Pilviniemi says:

    I have already seen Conchita/Tom Neuwirth live with Berlin National Philharmonic Orchestra in Hamburg and with BBC Concert Orchestra in London and I can only say that he is fabulous with this kind of big orchestra. He is so amazing singer and entertainer with so powerful and emotional voice, and he is much more than a drag queen. And that´s why I can`t wait his CD and concert with this amazing orchestra.

  • Autodidact says:

    Conchita is not a drag act anymore. He’s a serious singer. Orchestras love him, because he speaks their language. Only few people know that he played clarinet as a kid.

  • Maria Huemer says:

    Let’s start with a quote of Conchita’s alter ego Tom Neuwirth ‘Music is the love of my life’. I follow Tom’s career meanwhile since 2006 and it’s almost unbelievable how consequent & diligent he works on the realisation of his early childhood dream, to sing on renowed stages and entertain people.
    Facing this it literally hurts, that people 4 years after his ESC victory – during which he has given uncountable on YouTube re-watchable live(!) performances with renowed orchestras as well as with his band or at TV-shows – still either doubt his great talent or primarily speak about the stage person ‘Conchita’ instead of the artistic achievements.
    W’ld be great if my comment could induce that people finally listen unbiased to Conchita’s peformances!
    Btw the upcoming album FROM VIENNA WITH LOVE with the Vienna Symphony (19.10.18) is the orchestra’s 1st pop-crossover in ther 118-years history and includes ballads, Diva-word-hits as well as a song selfwritten by Tom. ‘It’s the album everyone w’ld have wished after the Eurovision win, but I am not known for doing what anyone wishes’ *Conchita 2018
    Open the link and enjoy