January 7, 2016 – This year, the annual New Year’s silver coin issued by the Austrian Mint features the famous New Year’s concert performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and broadcast world-wide. For many decades now the concert begins the New Year with a message of hope, friendship and peace to the world.
Austria / 5 Euros / Silver .800 / 8 g / 28.5 mm / Design: Helmut Andexlinger (obverse) and Herbert Waehner (reverse) / Mintage: 50,000.
The obverse of the nine-sided coin is the standard 5-euro design, with the denomination encircled by the shields of the nine federal provinces of Austria. In the center is the face value of 5 euros. Mint engraver Helmut Andexlinger designed the obverse.
The reverse of the coin depicts part of the cello and string bass section of the orchestra in front of the pipe organ located in the golden hall of the Musik Verein, in Vienna. Two detailed panels of abundant flowers decorate the organ for the annual concert. A silhouette of the conductor with his baton and hands above his head is posed along the left side of the design. The words “Neujahrs-konzert” (New Year’s Concert) is positioned over the conductor’s silhouette. The reverse was designed and engraved by mint engraver Herbert Waehner.
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the rehearsal (Felix von Weingartner conducting), 1926. Etching by Ferdinand Schmutzer.
The engravers of the Austrian Mint found this is a particularly challenging theme to depict on a coin. There are simply so many details. The full orchestra with all the musicians as well as their instruments, the golden concert hall a complex highly detailed architectural wonder and the detail of the pipe organ all added to this challenge. Herbert creatively used a perspective that captures all of this; some musicians, some instruments, and some of the abundant flowers decorating the large pipe organ. A simple view and yet such careful detail that all together the design seems to encompass the myriad of details. A silhouette for the conductor was used by Herbert, since every year a different well known conductor is invited to conduct the concert by the orchestra for this performance.
Televised in over 90 countries, the concert enjoys great international popularity and touches the hearts of far more people than those lucky enough to find themselves among the audience during the performance in Vienna on the first morning of January. The concert consists mostly of the varied repertoire of the legendary Strauss family and some of their contemporaries. The elaborate florals are the masterpieces of the florists working for the Vienna Parks and Gardens. The concert hall is transformed by these fantastic floral arrangements that take days to complete and install.
This is the site of the Austrian Mint.
Please find the site of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra here.
Here you can find the Vienna Philharmonic discography.
And here you watch the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra New Year’s Concert 2015.