Vienna Improvisers Orchestra

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September 2024



In 2024 the VIENNA IMPROVISERS ORCHESTRA will celebrate its 20th year of founding. With its practice of Instant Composition Conducting, the VIO explores a special discourse of non-notated experimental composition and complex improvised music for large ensembles. Based on a hand signal vocabulary for parameters such as dynamics, register, timbre, etc., momentary compositions are created in the oscillation of structuring conducting and ensemble improvisation. Instant Composition Conducting is close to developments by Bruno Maderna or John Zorn, especially Butch Morris' 'Conduction', and was developed time by time by ensemble leader and conductor Michael Fischer as his own practice:


1. absolute ad hoc creation on the part of the ensemble and the conductor, no prepared or agreed parts or designs; no rehearsals, just a quick try-out of the hand signals before the concert,

2. only a few hand signals are used for structuring,

3. the pieces created ad hoc have a length of 30 - 50 minutes,

4. Each concert features a new ensemble constellation and usually also includes at least one new musician.


So far, around 200 musicians from freely improvised music, jazz, electronics, new music (from around 30 countries), as well as writers from experimental literature, have been involved in gender-balanced line-ups.


In 2022, the VIO performed at the legendary Moers Festival for Jazz and Improvised Music, where its concert was acclaimed with a minute-long standing ovation in the festival hall, which was filled to capacity. The VIO was also a guest at Wien Modern, Artacts Festival for Improvised Music and Jazz, Vienna Art Week Festival, at Porgy & Bess, Künstlerhaus Wien, Belvedere21, Angewandte Interdisciplinary Lab/Die Angewandte Wien, Art Brut Center Gugging and others.

Program and cast

PORGY & BESS Jazzclub

Porgy & Bess (actually, Jazz and Music Club Porgy & Bess ) is a jazz club in the Riemergasse 11 in the 1st district of Vienna. The club , founded in 1993 is considered " the most important jazz organizer and trendy meeting point " of the Austrian capital .

The program of Porgy & Bess speaks to a very large audience , about 70,000 guests a year ; is accordingly Jazz " understood very pluralistic ," and the program " even in fringe areas , such as electronic music , contemporary music and world music penetrated . " Many international artists , particularly from the U.S. space , see also Austrian musician here an opportunity to perform . The club also offers the stage for events, such as the award of the Austrian World Music Award.

Musicologist Christian Scheib According to the Porgy & Bess " at the same time essential for the development of the musical ( jazz ) reality of a City" and needs and uses ' plain commonplace as urban space music. " It creates itself " through artistic preferences, acoustic quality , capacity and real capacity, the necessary exclusion of other clubs. " Here, the different areas of the jazz clubs allow - the area in front of the stage with tables, upstairs gallery , a lateral area with a bar at counter - different intense concentration on the concert scene . For Jazzthetik Porgy & Bess is even a " traditional club . "

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