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A global applause for 2021! With the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Dec 23, 2020 9:00:00 AM / by Elisabeth Ernst

Isn't applause wonderful? It lets you know that you are doing well in something and it motivates you to keep going ahead. For the upcoming year 2021 I would like to understand the applause the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra gets for its New Year's concert also as an applause for an upcoming great year 2021.

So. Applause is motivating. The most obvious form of applause is when applauding, clapping hands. This happens mostly at concerts, theatre plays, cabarets, circus, football matches and other sports competitions, or speeches. It shows that the piece of music, the theatre scene, a joke, a goal (or race), a trick or the words spoken are being liked. The louder and longer the applause, the better. The best form of applause are the standing ovations. There, the audience does not only clap their hands, but also stands up.

I, as a musician playing in a windband since more than 20 years already, know perfectly well how much more fun it is, when the audience applauds, is standing up at the end of a concert to clap their hands so long until we finally sit down again to play an other piece of music. The applause does not come without "More! More!" shout-outs. What a feeling! And of course, then, it is more than a pleasure to carry on and to play the one or other extra piece.

Applause, however, can also be less obvious. Without clapping hands, "More! More!"shout-outs or standing ovations. It can also come in the form of appreciating words like "well done", "carry on like this", or the "mmmmmmh" sound when the cookies (or other dishes) were enjoyed just too much :). 

Applause, however, does not necessarily need words. The appreciation for something or someone can come in a hearty and firm handshake or a simple nod. Or with a hug or glittering eyes or a smile....


No matter how obvious, applause and appreciation are important and a motivator to keep going. Applause in any form is an interaction between people.

Now, with Corona there is no audience anymore to applaude and to show appreciation. There is no consenting nod, a hug or glittering eyes you can look into.

The concerts, cabarets, sport events are without any audience.There is no instant interaction between the performers and the audience, no understanding if the piece of music was liked or if the skier just raced to the first place or not. 

Instead, you get a "heart" or "thumb up" on the social media, where the perfermances are shared. Instead of a hug, in the best case you get a "fist" when you are lucky enough to meet personally. Otherwise you can only meet via a videoconference, have a chat on the phone, or exchange emails or text messages.

Well, the applause of today is very much limited onto appreciating words. At least something.


2021 is about to come. As every year, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the New Year's concert on January 1. 

But this year is different. There will not be any audience in the Golden Hall of the Wiener Musikverein. But, as always, people from all over the world will have the possibility to applaude. Yes, to clap their hands and even greater! The applause will be heard in the Golden Hall - by the musicians, but also by the TV audience at home. 

The first test run has been completed successfully. Now it is YOUR chance to register for showing your solidarity in these special times and applauding from whereever you will be on January 2021.

The applause, as I would suggest, shall be addressed to the musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, but also to all of us who we mastered this crisis so far, and a big applause for the New Year 2021. Shall it be a motivation to for the musicians to play an extra piece, for us to stay positive in mind, and for the New Year to bring us many great moments and travelling back. Please. Cannot wait for it.

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©ÖW/Lois Lammerhuber


Who would you like to address your applause to?

Elisabeth Ernst

Written by Elisabeth Ernst

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