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Wiener Philharmoniker

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Known as the Vienna Philharmonic to the English-speaking world, the Wiener Philharmoniker is an Austria-based orchestra formed in 1842 by Otto Nicolai. Independent and democratic, the group survived the departure of its founder to last well into the 21st century. Following Nicolai's leave, the orchestra met sporadically, but was eventually recharged and refocused by Karl Eckert in 1860. A series of conductors followed, guiding the orchestra over the next 60 years — including Hans Richter and Gustav Mahler — culminating in the decision to move away from a "permanent" conductor position in 1933. Since that time, the orchestra has been led by a series of guest conductors, including such luminaries in the classical world as Richard Strauss, Arturo Toscanini, Georg Solti, and James Levine. The group has faced some adversity in the modern world, including controversies involving racism and sexism, but has managed to persevere in the face of such criticism.

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