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The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Marife Hernandez, Ken Buckfire and Noreen Buckfire.  Photo by:  Michael Ostuni

Marife Hernandez, Ken Buckfire and Noreen Buckfire attend the Vienna Philharmonic Society cocktail reception in New York City on March 5, 2023.

Photo Credit: Michael Ostuni


The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra made a triumphant return to America with three sold out concerts at Carnegie Hall.  Marife Hernandez, chairman of the Vienna Philharmonic Society, with her husband Joel Bell, opened their east side residence to supporters on Sunday afternoon, following the final New York concert.  These thrilling Carnegie Hall appearances were under the mighty baton of Christian Thielemann and received standing ovations for which audiences were rewarded at each performance with an encore.  The programs included works by Bruchunder, Schoenberg, and Richard Strauss demonstrating the unique sound of the Vienna Philharmonic.


Guests included Joshua Bell, Noreen and Kenneth Buckfire, Sir Clive and Lady Anya Gillinson, April Gow, Peter Kimmelman, Sana Sabbagh, Theodora and Albert Simmons, Barbara Tober, Sedgewick Ward, and many more…


Since their founding in 1842, the Orchestra’s inimitable style and sound has been influenced by their close artistic collaboration with the most prominent conductors and soloists.   In 2016 Marife Hernandez founded the Vienna Philharmonic Society, a non-profit U.S. organization that seeks to extend the reach of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, its music, and its music education expertise. Highlights of their activities include Master Classes with Orchestra musicians for students from across the United States (in partnership with The Weill Music Institute of Carnegie Hall) as well as important collaboration with the Orchestra to establish the new Vienna Philharmonic Academy in Vienna to train exceptional young musicians in the ‘Viennese Sound’ and the Orchestra’s tradition of excellence.


Based in Vienna, Philharmonic Academy offers tuition-free admission to 11-13 music students aged 18 – 27 across 10 musical instruments for a two-year course of study which includes private lessons with Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra musicians, chamber music instruction and performance, audition preparation and orchestral training with the Orchestra. The Academists live in newly built dorms at the University of Vienna and receive a monthly stipend.


Academy students are accompanied by individual members of the orchestra as mentors, working with them in the preparation of solo repertoire at the highest level. Students have the opportunity to perform chamber music on stage with members of the Orchestra. Academy students experience first-hand a unique style of playing, a variety of interpretations and the Orchestra's sound, all based on long-established traditions. They are working with the greatest conductors and most renowned soloists of our time and perform with the Vienna Philharmonic in the world's most famous concert halls, experiencing the enthusiasm of international audiences. It is this passion for music and dedication to the profession which the Orchestra wishes to pass on to the next generation.


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