The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra were today announced as the third-ever winners of the $1m Birgit Nilsson prize. In case you're thinking that sounds a lot, it only works out at about £4,000 per player - and it's more likely to be put towards educational or social work in any case.
Vienna Philharmonic / Christian Thielemann - Großes Festspielhaus, 11 August 2013
Finally I have time to write about my week in Salzburg before it slips from my memory entirely. Until Karajan is resurrected (something the Salzburgers appear to be working on), the holy trinity of Bruckner, Wiener Philharmoniker and Christian Thielemann is about as Fest-perfect as you can get.
The Sunday night concert was devoted entirely to Bruckner's 5th Symphony. Scoreless, Thielemann demonstrated the simultaneous grasp of detail and sonic architecture that has placed him in Karajan's shoes. The Wieners - or at least a crack section of the 160-strong troupe - displayed an attentiveness and precision which was to elude them for the rest of my stay. Quiet sections were exquisitely calibrated, climaxes thundered, and time stood still for an hour and half. The ovations went on for another twenty minutes or so, with Thielemann called back for a final solo bow even after the orchestra had left the stage. Way to go on.
And the best part? With a pillar to one side allegedly obscuring the view, my seat cost just 10 euros.
The Vienna Philharmonic, currently in residence at the Salzburg Festival, nipped over to the nearby town of Seekirchen for a quick footie match on Saturday.
The Philharmonischer Fußballclub Wien trounced their rivals 9-3, raising €333 for charity in the process. After tooting their victory horns, they were back in the Grosses Festspielhaus for a 7.30 start of La bohème.
"We are probably not the Facebook generation", said CEO Dieter Flury in a joint interview with Chairman Clemens Hellsberg. They don't know who runs the Facebook account in the 171 year old Wiener Philharmoniker's name - and they don't care. The imposter can rest safe that the Philharmonic don't intend to take legal action.
Nor will the official Wieners offer any competition. Some of London's orchestras and opera houses now employ more digital media staff than bassoonists, but the trend is unlikely to spread to Vienna, where no Facebook or other social network presence is currently planned.