Vienna Art Orchestra

Vienna Art Orchestra, a European big band from Europe, is based in Vienna. It is considered one of Europe’s most important jazz ensembles, and it is the official cultural ambassador of Austria. Mathias Ruegg was the director and composer of the band. The group started by performing Ruegg’s unique postmodern compositions on European stages. The founding members were the saxophonists Wolfgang Puschnig, Harry Sokal, Lauren Newton, and Jon Sass, a tuba player. The group signed a recording deal with Swiss hatART in 1980. It toured the United States in 1984. For a short time, the group was basically disbanded at the end of 1980s. The VAO launched a new phase in 1992 with a smaller number of musicians. The band focused on arrangements of Ruegg’s music and less on Ruegg’s original compositions. The ensemble’s compositions changed again in 1997, with a larger group and the addition of younger musicians. VAO concerts became more frequent with Ruegg’s new compositions. These often featured visual and dramatic elements. Over 800 concerts were given by the Vienna Art Orchestra, and more than 35 recordings have been released. Othmar Schmiderer released the 1998 film An Echo from Europe: Vienna Art Orchestra On Tour. In 2001, the ensemble received an Amadeus Austrian Music Award for All That Strauss. It was also nominated in 2003 for Art and Fun. Text contributed by users is available under Creative Commons By–SA License. It may also be available under GNU FDL.

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