One of the world’s greatest and most-recorded orchestras, the Vienna Philharmonic is known the world over for its annual New Year’s Concert. The music of the Strauss family runs in the players’ blood and is given voice by its glorious strings. But the VPO tradition embraces the great classical repertoire, too, from Mozart and Beethoven to Bruckner and Mahler, and onwards into the 20th century. The VPO is also the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, giving it a uniquely “singing" line, and it has recorded numerous operas. Unusual among major ensembles, it has no chief conductor, preferring instead to work with a succession of guests. But what guests! All the greatest conductors have worked with the VPO, from Otto Nicolai (the orchestra’s founder in 1842) and Gustav Mahler to Furtwängler, Knappertsbusch, both Kleibers, Karajan, Solti, Bernstein, Abbado, Muti, and countless others.