Vienna’s Vegetable Orchestra: 100% Vegan


Jammin’ on the carrot-zuke-red-pepper oboe.

Founded in 1998, the Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna was the subject of a feature on this week’s special food edition of CBS Sunday Morning. The 12-person ensemble just completed an American tour, and the video magazine caught up with them at a concert at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

The instruments must be created every day from scratch.

Instruments include the carrot recorder, the pumpkin tympanum, the zucchini trumpet, and the bean maraca, but many of the instruments defy conventional identification. Onion skins are used to make a distinctive rustling sound, while hollowed-out root vegetables inserted in a glass of water produce a lovely semitonal burbling. Musical stylings run to classical, jazz, hip-hop, rock, and chamber music.

There are no rules, except that all instruments must be created from vegetables. As it turns out, all instruments must be made afresh before each concert, which necessitates hours of shopping, carving, drilling, and then rehearsing with the unique instruments before each concert. And no two concerts are alike. More photos of the ensemble taken from the TV show follow, and then a recent video from the BBC.

The instruments made by the ensemble are 100 percent vegan.

The horn section.

A zucchini kazoo solo.

Bang the pumpkin drum slowly.

When the pace picks up, the Vegetable Orchestra starts shredding — cabbage, that is.

The sub-aquatic carrot clarinet produces a burbling sound.

Next: A BBC video of the Vegetable Orchestra …