Austrian orchestra established in 1842; regular seasons were given from 1860. It performs in the Grosser Musikvereinssaal (opened 1870, cap. c.1950) and is also the Vienna Staatsoper orchestra. It has been among the world's finest since its foundation, one of its greatest periods being under Hans Richter (1875-98); subsequent conductors have included Mahler, Furtwängler and Abbado. Activities include subscription concerts, performances at Salzburg Festival (from 1925) and foreign visits.