Vienna Philharmonic will use canned applause in empty New Year’s concert

Vienna Philharmonic will use canned applause in empty New Year’s concert


norman lebrecht

December 04, 2020

The Vienna Phil are going ahead with their Strauss extravaganza in an empty, locked-out Musikverein.

The national broadcaster ORF will inject ‘interactive’ applause at appropriaute intervals, just as it does in football matches.

This is literally fake news.

Maybe Maestro Muti should put in a word?


  • Rogerio says:

    Does that mean that you will hear a fake audience shouting GOALLLLL!!?

  • Gustavo says:

    It’s like faking the orgasm, like plastic Christmas trees and Japanese Single Malt.

    It can work.

    I suggest ORF use the applause emitted when Kapellmeister John Williams entered the Golden Hall for the first time (before VPO had played a single note).

    That was rather impressive!

  • Good for the flowers of Sanremo, Rolex and me!

  • henry williams says:

    better than nothing.

  • Bass One says:

    Will Petroc still get his annual jolly?

  • Novagerio says:

    Let the beauty evolve without the audience for once. And no Radetzky March. It would be a nice symbol, burying a shitty year and hoping for a better one to come!

  • Herr Doktor says:

    Just speaking for myself, I look forward to this concert more than usual. Given that our concertgoing musical lives have been put on hold and for some of us that has felt like a real loss, this will feel like a sign of good things to come in 2021. I do think it would have been extra special to have it clear there is no audience in the hall, yet in spite of that, the force of life that is so tangible when great music-making shows up, still goes on as meaningful as ever. That would be a lot more powerful than canned applause, frankly.

  • Patrick says:

    Please, no. It’s unnecessary. Just have the musicians stand, smile and acknowledge each other. Fake applause is, well, fake, and completely distracting.

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Will we also get audience laughter à la ‘My Wife Next Door’, too?

  • José Bergher says:

    Canned applause? Splendid idea! And what about canned clapping during the entire Rakocy March?

    • BruceB says:

      ^ I thought that was the march from the Damnation of Faust, and the VPO usually plays the Radetzky March? Maybe I am losing something in translation.

  • freddynyc says:

    Will they be putting the kabash on the ballet routines also? I could do without them…..

  • LP says:

    Since there won’t be any audience, there shouldn’t be any encore which normally rules out the last 3 pieces.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Maybe they can lose those lame ballet segments at the same time….

  • Karl says:

    Will they also have cardboard audience members like they did at US baseball games?

  • Robert Roy says:

    Hopefully, those bloody ballet dancers will be given a rest!

  • Peter says:

    There is no canned applause for matches on ORF. Whether there will be fake applause in the New Year´s Concert has not been decided. The idea did not come from the orchestra.

  • Robin carter says:

    The ORF said they would interject applause at suitable intervals as is done in football. Well as far as my wife and I are concerned, who ever decided 2 times was sufficient, made a bad decision as it spoilt the atmosphere for us as it became empty as the hall was. What a shame when the whole orchestra with the wonderfully artistic conductor gave us a super presentation of the wonderful music!?
    Happy new year. Aase and Robin Carter