On March 28, 1842, a group of music enthusiasts, led by composer Otto Nicolai, poet Nikolaus Lenau, newspaper man August Schmidt, critic Alfred Julius Becker, musical patron Count Laurecin and violinist Karl Holz met up at the Zum Amor Inn to put the finishing touches on a plan to create an artist-led professional orchestra in Vienna, a city that had been the musical center of Europe since the 1750s. The musical style was Baroque and Rococo. Its sound, which became known as the Viennese Sound, was played in concert halls around Europe and around the world.
But the performance of these works, the founding members thought, lacked professionalism. They set about to change that.
And change it they did. Over the course of the past 175 years, the Vienna Philharmonic has left an indelible mark on music and is today recognized as one of the world’s leading orchestras. With a wait list of several years for subscription tickets, a roster of some of the world’s leading professional players – and one of the world’s most iconic music venues – it’s safe to say that an evening of music in old Vienna remains one of the hottest tickets in town.
To commemorate this important anniversary, the Austrian Mint will issue two collector coins: a silver 20-euro coin and a 5-euro coin design issued in both silver and copper.
The 20-euro coin is the second Austrian coin to feature Nicolai. He also appeared on the 1992 100 Schilling commemorative coin, which marked the Vienna Philharmonic’s 150th Anniversary.
The obverse of the coin features portraits of the orchestra’s three founding fathers, Otto Nicolai, August Schmidt and Alfred Becher. In the background is the orchestra’s founding document, a “deed of incorporation”, which set in place the principles of democracy and entrepreneurial initiative that has been the hallmark of the orchestra’s success. In gold, is the seal of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Wrapping around the rim on the left is the denomination and legend, written: 20 EURO • REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH. The umlaut is rendered as a single dot inside of the “O”.
The coin’s reverse is adapted from Maximilian Oppenheimer’s massive triptych, titled Die Philharmoniker, which hangs in the Belvedere Museum in Vienna. The design takes from the left-hand panel and features four violin players in the foreground. Wrapping around the rim is the inscription: 175 JAHRE WIENER PHILHARMONIKER (175th Anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic).
Designer(s): Austrian Mint designer Helmut Andexlinger is one of the world’s leading coin designers. He has created a number of prize-winning coin designs (View Designer’s Profile). Herbert Wähner is a designer and engraver at the Austrian Mint. He studied at the Fachschule für Metalldesign in Steyr, Austria.
|Year Of Issue:||2017|
|OBV Designer||Helmut Andexlinger / Herbert Wähner|
|REV Designer||Helmut Andexlinger / Herbert Wähner|
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Austrian Silver Coins Currently Available on eBay