String Trio in the Gläserner Saal ("Glassy Hall") of Musikverein
© WienTourismus/Ges. d. Musikfreunde in Wien/Peter Rigaud

Vienna 2020: Home of Beethoven. Capital of Music

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Beethoven was a radical, elemental force both as a human being and as an artist. A visionary who questioned and reinvented everything that had gone before - and thus gave impetus that continues to have an effect today. Vienna was his home for 35 years, a place of creativity and inspiration.

Traces of the composer are manifold: homes and memorials (nowadays used as a large Beethoven museum, top restaurant or heuriger), places of his triumph and doubt, monuments, Klimt's Beethoven Frieze in the Secession through to the grave of honor in the Central Cemetery.

Beethoven's music is some of the most frequently played in the world. More so than ever in 2020, when Vienna's musical institutions pay tribute to the maestro with Beethoven specialties:

The Musikverein, the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Theater an der Wien (the opera "Fidelio" premiered here and Beethoven lived here for a while), the Vienna State Opera, the world's best orchestras (the Wiener Symphoniker have re-recorded all of Beethoven's symphonies, the Wiener Akademie its concert series "Resound Beethoven").

Exhibitions are planned, for example, in the Grand Hall of the Austrian National Library and in the Theater Museum. The Collection of Historic Musical Instruments is a treasure trove for music fans, its marble hall dedicated to Beethoven and his time. Vienna's Museum of Sound, the House of Music, presents Beethoven in detail in a dedicated room complete with ear trumpet station. The sound installation "Inside Beethoven! – The walk-in ensemble" invites visitors to literally "walk through" two of Beethoven's works.

Vienna was Beethoven's creative environment and this creative spirit lives on: Today, like 250 years ago, Vienna is a musical city that sets the tone. Musical "sparks of the gods" fly and spread the joy of top-quality music. Such as the phenomena of the New Year's Concert and Summer Night Concert at Schönbrunn by the Vienna Philharmonic: no other classical events are experienced by so many people anywhere else in the world. Every evening, 10,000 music enthusiasts listen to live classical music in Vienna. The Viennese audience is considered to be the most competent in the world in its judgment.

Those who pursue a first-class musical education try to get accepted into one of Vienna's music universities, such as the famous mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. It was voted the best music university in the world in 2019! The way to success comes about there with passion. The stars of tomorrow can already be heard at public concerts – such extraordinary musical encounters.

International and innovative – these are the attributes of many musical Viennese companies: Hollywood film composers such as Hans Zimmer ("Inferno") have their music recorded on the Vienna Synchron Stage. Many compose with the music software Vienna Symphonic Library. This gigantic sound database has been revolutionizing the music market for years out of Vienna: Among its users are Herbie Hancock, Lenny Kravitz and Beyoncé; it has been used to create music for TV series such as The Mentalist and CSI Miami.

Vienna leads the world in the making of musical instruments: The piano factory Bösendorfer "releases" 300 hand-made instruments with the unique sound to the world each year, while world stars swear by the legendary strings of Thomastik Infeld. Instruments such as Viennese oboe, Viennese horn and Viennese timpani are just some of the reasons behind the world-famous, specific Viennese sound of the local orchestras. There are around 45 instrument makers in the city nowadays – three times more than 20 years ago.

In 2020, when the world turns its spotlight on the Beethoven city of Vienna, it will once again be proved that Vienna's musical heritage is a living world culture, that the world capital of music shapes the global music scene.

 

Musikverein, Golden Hall, New Year's Concert, Vienna Philharmonic

Musikverein

© WienTourismus / Lois Lammerhuber
Vienna State Opera

Vienna State Opera

© WienTourismus / Christian Stemper

Facts about Beethoven 2020

www.vienna.info: Vienna Beethoven places, Beethoven events, MyVienna Beethoven travel plan, Beethoven walk Vienna

Music-Highlights

Musikverein

  • •150th anniversary of the building. Numerous Beethoven concerts.

Wiener Konzerthaus

  • •Performance of all Beethoven string quartets
  • •Full performance of all Beethoven symphonies (conductor Teodor Currentzis)
  • •Beethoven's Ninth at New Year and New Year's Eve (Wiener Symphoniker, January 1 and December 31, 2020)
  • •Reconstruction of the "Grand Beethoven Academy" of 1808 (Wiener Symphoniker, January 11, 2020)
  • •"Best of Beethoven" (Wiener Symphoniker, June 5 and 7, 2020)

Festival of Joy with the Wiener Symphoniker

  • •75-year commemoration of the end of the Second World War, excerpts from "Fidelio" (May 8, 2020, open-air on Heldenplatz)
Simultankonzert Bonn - Wien
  • The Beethoven Orchester Bonn and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra play together. A unique open-air concert with public viewing and a live bridge that connects the two Beethoven cities (May 15, 2020)

Resound Beethoven

  • •The cycle "Resound Beethoven" by Martin Haselböck and his Wiener Akademie orchestra leads the audience to the premiere venues. Performed on historical instruments (original sound). Planned performance venues: Palais Niederösterreich, Musikverein (March 10, May 12, December 1, 2020), Academy of Sciences.
  • •Under the title "Resound Beethoven", a full recording of all symphonies and piano concerts by Beethoven played on historic instruments will be released by Outhere Music/Alpha Classics by 2020.

Vienna State Opera

  • Beethoven's "Fidelio" is on the program in almost every season. A Beethoven surprise is announced for 2020.

Theater an der Wien – in memoriam Beethoven:

  • •"Egmont" (premiere performance by Christian Jost and Christoph Klimke, premiere: February 17, 2020)
  • •"Fidelio" (Beethoven, 1806), new production by Theater an der Wien under the direction of Christoph Waltz (premiere: March 16, 2020)
  • •"Beethoven Academy" (conductor: Ivor Bolton, Wiener Symphoniker, May 2020)
  • •At Theater an der Wien's Kammeroper: Premiere performance of musical theater by Tscho Theissing and Kristine Tornquist (April 2020)

Exhibitions

House of Music: In addition to the permanent Beethoven exhibition:

  • •Sound installation "Inside Beethoven! - The walk-in ensemble" (June, July 2020)
  • •Two special exhibitions on Beethoven
  • •Around June 15, 2020 for "20 years of the House of Music": Classical concerts, "Beethoven Path" through the entire museum, "Virtual conductor" new ...

Austrian National Library

  • Special exhibition "Beethoven" in the Grand Hall with original letters and manuscripts, including the Ninth Symphony, violin concerto (spring 2020)

Theater Museum

  • •A Beethoven project to suit the rooms in Palais Lobkowitz is planned (May to October).
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