Classical Music Awards: Orchestra of the Year - Vienna Philharmonic: Artists strike triumphant note on big awards night

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THEY do it their way: deliberately choosing not to have a principal conductor, they jealously guard their special sound, a matter of tonal warmth, instrumental quality, and sheer beguiling style. Last year they reached their 150th anniversary, and celebrations included a televised gala conducted by Riccardo Muti and Schoenberg's Gurrelieder with 140 players and 300 singers, conducted by Claudio Abbado. Past conductors have included Mahler, Richard Strauss, Karajan and Bernstein. It plays too as the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, and carefully restricts touring: three times a year it appears in London, Paris and Berlin, which it regards as the greatest musical centres.