Otto Nicolai Room

Learn more about the origin of this famous orchestra and take a look at our renaissance fireplace, beamed ceiling and carved wooden cladding (panelling).

The great composer, Otto Nicolai (1810-1849), whose extensive works are still popular today, particularly his comic opera "The Merry Wives of Windsor", is regarded as the founder of the Vienna Philharmonic. As early as 1841, he became Principal Conductor at the Court Opera in Vienna. At the suggestion of leading figures from the Viennese music scene, he conducted a "Grand Concert" in the large Redouten Hall on 28 March 1842, which was organized by the entire "orchestral staff of the imperial Court Opera".


This was the birth of the Vienna Philharmonic. The founding decree and concert programme are displayed in the cabinet located in the centre of this room. The initially named "Philharmonic Concerts" became the "Philharmonic Subscription Concerts" in 1860, but it was not until 1908 that the "Vienna Philharmonic Association" was officially founded.

Did you know that…

Otto Nicolai (1810-1849) used to live in this building? Originally from Germany, the composer occupied an apartment in this palace from 1841 to 1847.

Overture to Otto Nicolai’s Opera – “The Merry Wives of Windsor”

The Vienna Philharmonic's 1992 New Year's Concert was conducted by Carlos Kleiber.