The orchestra was founded by Peter Guth, the artistic leader, and by the oboist and managing director Herbert Vedral, on the occasion of an open air concert with an audience of over 4000 in front of the Villa Manin in Udine, Italy in July 1978. With countless brilliant appearances at important music festivals, sensational TV concerts, tours in almost all European countries and Asia and with its CD recordings, the orchestra is internationally synonymous with the authentic interpretation of Viennese music in historical formations, and with a wide repertoire from the classics to the Strauss Dynasty and the masters of Viennese operetta.
Having a contingent of outstanding, experienced Viennese musicians, who permanently work with each other, the SFO Vienna is able to maintain its leading position with highest artistical claims, ahead of the numerous ensembles of this kind.
Peter Guth, the internationally renowned Johann Strauss specialist, shares the musical direction with his young colleague Willy Büchler, who took over the annual tours in Japan and several other engage-ments. In line with the tradition of Johann Strauss, they both conduct also with the violin in hand.
Guth and his colleagues won particular recognition with their series of CD live recordings for Koch Discover International, and attracted attention as pioneers of cultural exchange with China, which they have visited seven times since 1993, more often than any other orchestra. With their TV broadcasts they are real stars in that vast country, and have performed several times together with Chinese musicians.
For the Johann Strauss memorial year 1999 the SFO is planning overseas tours to the USA and South America, as musical ambassador of the City of Vienna, and participates in the new concept of the American-Canadian "Salute to Vienna" concerts with a gala evening in the golden hall of the Wiener Musikverein.
At the start of the new millennium on January 1st 2000, the SFO is invited for the honorable task, of playing the very first New Year Concert, ever promoted by the Wiener Konzerthaus.
Selections of favourite highlights and alluring, less-known rarities, the rich diversity of forms of the classical dances, waltzes, polkas and marches, all the funny pieces full of surprises and the music from operettas, make the programmes of the SFO, often joined by prominent singers, attractive for all audiences. Faithfulness to style and the beauty of a pure sound, Viennese charm and joy of music-making, are characteristic features of this orchestra, which distinguish it from incompetent, little inspired imitation.
Commited to tradition without false sentiment and accomplished in today's perfection, the SFO gets enthusiastic acclaim and appreciation from audiences and critics everywhere.
The Strauss Festival Orchestra Vienna, a leading European top ensemble, preserves a genuine Viennese musical culture and proclaims the eternally young fascination of Viennese music
Educated at the Academy of Music in Vienna and at the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied with David Oistrakh for three years, Peter Guth was successful as a soloist and with the Vienna Trio. Educational work, publications on modern violin methodology, active concern for new music, as well as his earlier position as first concertmaster of the Vienna Radio Symphony, give a comprehensive picture of this versatile, well-known Austrian musician.
As the artistic leader of the Strauss Festival Orchestra Vienna and also as a guest conductor, repeatedly invited by more than 100 renowned symphony orchestras, he has made an exceptional career in the musical centres of the world.
Concert series, award-winning TV and CD recordings, associate him in frequent cooperation with many famous international top orchestras like the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, or the San Francisco Symphony.
With incomparable style and his universal musical experience, he is one of the foremost exponents of Viennese music.