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The Top Ten European Orchestras, According to Ten European Media Outlets

By Matthew Westphal
10 Oct 2006

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, which missed out on first place by just one point.
photo by Ronald Knapp

A consortium of ten European media outlets convened by the French magazine Le Monde de la Musique has named its list of the Top Ten European Orchestras — and the Vienna Philharmonic has taken the top slot, just barely beating out the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. The results of the voting were reported last week by the website AbeilleMusique.com.

Representatives of each of the ten participants — Le Monde de la Musique (France), Gramophone magazine (Great Britain), the Leipzig radio station MDR Figaro (Germany), Musica magazine (Italy), Pizzicato magazine (Luxembourg), Crescendo magazine (Belgium), Radio Classique (France), Fono Forum magazine (Germany), Scherzo magazine (Spain) and La Tribune de Genève (Switzerland) — ranked their preferred orchestras, with ten points going to the top choice, nine to the next, etc. Only permanent, conventional-instrument symphonic ensembles were considered; Baroque orchestras, opera orchestras and festival orchestras, all being somewhat different in nature, were not included.

A total of 25 ensembles were named in the voting. The top ten, with point counts, were as follows:

1. Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (86 points)
2. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam (85 points)
3. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (79 points)
4. London Symphony Orchestra (55 points)
5. Dresden Staatskapelle (48 points)
6. Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (47 points)
7. Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig (37 points)
8. St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (31 points)
9. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (12 points)
10. Philharmonia Orchestra [London] (9 points)


AbeilleMusique.com noted that while Radio Classique and Le Monde de la Musique did include French orchestras on their lists, none of the other voters did.


"We are the champions ..." - the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.




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