Anger as Vienna Philharmonic players jump the vaccination queue

Anger as Vienna Philharmonic players jump the vaccination queue


norman lebrecht

April 18, 2021

Vienna’s theatre sector has attacked the vaccination of 95 Vienna Philharmonic players last week as a ‘slap in the face’ for other arts.

The City of Vienna said the musicians were put at th front of the queue in order to enable them to fulfil international engagements. The orchestra cited ‘different playing commitments’ which require a vaccination.

The atmosphere in Vienna is ungenerous at present.


  • BP says:

    The Wiener Symphoniker have put out a statement rejecting the preference given to musicians for vaccine access…

  • SVM says:

    “The orchestra cited ‘different playing commitments’ which require a vaccination.”

    But what happens to any players (and support staff) who decline said vaccination (or who are assessed as unable to be vaccinated due to allergy or other factors)? I was under the impression that it is illegal to discriminate on vaccination status when it comes to professional engagements (and many other things besides).

    • Monsoon says:

      While I’m sure you cannot fire someone for refusing to be vaccinated, you could likely transfer to them to a different position if their current position requires that they be vaccinated, or pay them not to work.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    The Vienna Philharmonic is the premier orchestra of Austria. Fact. That nation values its orchestra; the US could take a lesson from that little country.

    • John Kelly says:

      Agreed but as Churchill noted, the Americans eventually do the right thing, but only after exhausting every other alternative………..

    • Graham Palmer says:

      Many soloist should take the same lead. Pianist,violinist,cellist, singers have all had to put their scheduled appearances in recitals,chamber music and orchestral performances on hold.

  • Curvy Honk Glove says:

    Some musicians are more equal than others.

  • John Kelly says:

    “Essential workers?” I think not. However, this speaks volumes for the total European f&ck up on approving, obtaining and distributing vaccines to their populations through what are, for the most part, excellent public health services. The Pfizer vaccine is GERMAN. It’s made in Europe (some of it). This has been an epic combination of lousy political leadership (think France and Germany) combined with ridiculous slowness of vaccine approval by European authorities and a totally unbelievable inability to write checks out with orders for vaccines from manufacturers. I read that Germany is thinking of ordering the Russian vaccine (which is selling like hot cakes and being given to everybody – except Russians – I guess they need the money.) Hey – their vaccine is probably good, they seem to make excellent poisons………….

  • Greg Bottini says:

    “The atmosphere in Vienna is ungenerous at present.”
    The atmosphere in Vienna has ALWAYS been ungenerous.

  • henry williams says:

    the conductor in the picture. needs to
    change his tailor.

  • Fussy says:

    Spellcheck, please.

  • Gustavo says:

    They are unique ambassadors and need to be protected and enabled to shine.

    Honestly, if VPO with Muti at the Scala is cancelled due to COVID – while politics, football, Royal funerals, Bingo in old peoples’ homes etc. go ahead thanks to vaccionalsim – what a sad world that would be!

  • Wise Guy says:

    The atmosphere in Vienna has been ungenerous since 1780.