The Vegetable Orchestra

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Logo of Das erste Wiener Gemüseorchester, featuring vegetable trumpet used by the group.
The Vegetable Orchestra (2015)

The Vegetable Orchestra (also known as Das erste Wiener Gemüseorchester, The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra or The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra) is an Austrian musical group who use instruments made entirely from fresh vegetables.


The group, founded in February 1998 in Vienna,[1] consists of ten musicians,[2] one cook, and one sound technician. The members of the ensemble are all active in various artistic areas[1] (for example trained musicians, sound poets, sculptors, media artists, designers, and architects) and have worked together on conceptualizing and carrying out their project.

The interdisciplinary approach is a crucial factor in researching and further developing the vegetable music. The intention is to create a sonorous experience which can be perceived with all senses.

Musical concepts of the Fluxus movement, for example compositions from John Cage[3] could be considered as a source of inspiration for this unique orchestra. Their distinctive repertoire also seems to be deeply rooted in sound art and experimental and electronic music because they play unheard-of interpretations of Igor Stravinsky, the German electronic band Kraftwerk[2] or the Austrian band Radian as well as their own compositions. All the pieces feature various forms of graphical notation and are exclusively composed for live performance.


The ensemble consists of Barbara Kaiser, Bob Kaiser, Ernst Reitermaier, Jörg Piringer, Marie Steinauer, Matthias Meinharter, Nikolaus Gansterer, Richard Repey, Sabine Höllwerth, Stefan Kühn, Tamara Wilhelm, and Ulrich Troyer.[4]


The instruments are constructed with carrots, celery, peppers, squash, zucchini and other raw vegetables prior to the performances. Their sound is amplified with the use of special microphones.[5]

Following the performances, the leftover vegetables and off-cuts are cooked into a soup for the audience.[1]

As of March 2019, more than 150 types of instruments had been invented since the band's inception[2] and include carrot xylophones, radish bass flute, pumpkin drums, leek violins, onion maracas, and many others.[1][2]


The group performs and average of 20-30 shows a years and have toured Europe, the United States and Asia,[6] playing gallery openings, exhibitions, community events and headlining their own shows.[1]

They were received a Guinness World Record for "Most concerts by a vegetable orchestra", for 77 performances by a group of musicians playing with instruments constructed out of vegetables, having performed in venues worldwide from April 1998 to September 2012.[7]

According to the BBC, they have inspired the formation of similar ensembles like the London Vegetable Orchestra and the Long Island Vegetable Orchestra[2][8].



Year Album
1999 Gemise
2003 Automate
2008 Remixed
2010 Onionoise
2018 Green Album

Singles and EPs[edit]

Year Album
2004 Remix Trilogy (Volume One)
2005 Remix Trilogy (Volume Two)
Remix Trilogy (Volume Three)
2008 Remix Conclusion


  1. ^ a b c d e O'Sullivan, Feargus. "This Austrian Band Makes Music With Vegetables". CityLab. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  2. ^ a b c d e Stein, Eliot. "Vienna's unpredictable Vegetable Orchestra". Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  3. ^ "The Vegetable Orchestra, the band who play instruments made from veggies". Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  4. ^ "Vegetable Orchestra". Discogs. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  5. ^ Blevins, Joe. "Vienna's Vegetable Orchestra is more than just a memorable gimmick". News. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  6. ^ "The Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna". KCRW 89.9FM | Music, NPR News, Culture Los Angeles. 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  7. ^ "World Vegetarian Day: Ten absolutely meat-free world record achievements". Guinness World Records. 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  8. ^ Correal, Annie (2017-08-15). "Cue the Carrots! Strike Up the Squash!". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-06-29.

External links[edit]