Bayerische Staatsoper's 2008-2009 Season
Adventures in Standing Room Ticket Procurement

Vienna Philharmonic, Sexism, and Racism

From Susan Elliott's May 9, 2008 Article in

In addition to being virtually all-male, the Philharmonic is also all European. One player actually told me, without hesitation, that Asians are incapable of producing the "Vienna Philharmonic sound."

I've been to Austria four times, and despite having a governor born in Thal bei Graz, I found both Salzburg and Vienna a little uncomfortable. I'm not sure if being able to speak and understand a fair amount of German was to my advantage. Interestingly, in my experience, when crossing the German/Austrian border, the Schengen Agreement doesn't seem to apply to those of swarthy complexions. Granted, the above comment could have been made by a European who isn't Austrian. But is it surprising that someone employed by the Wiener Philharmoniker felt comfortable saying that?