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

Vienna 2020. Capital of Music

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Ludwig van 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 to music and to Vienna. Impetus that can still be felt today. Vienna was Beethoven's home for 35 years, a place of creativity and inspiration. In Beethoven Year 2020, his revolutionary music will be heard even more often than usual in concerts, for example at the Musikverein and the Wiener Konzerthaus. The Vienna State Opera and the Theater an der Wien present Beethoven's only opera "Fidelio". Special exhibitions, such as those at the Austrian National Library, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna and at the Leopold Museum, give insight into the many facets of his personality and the unbelievable genius of his works. Traces of the composer are manifold: original Beethoven homes (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. Vienna's museum of sound, the House of Music, presents Beethoven in interactive form.

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.

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. The University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and the Juilliard School are currently ranked first in the QS University Ranking 2019. The stars of tomorrow can already be heard at public concerts today.

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. Herbie Hancock, Lenny Kravitz, Beyoncé and many others compose with the music software Vienna Symphonic Library. This gigantic sound database has been revolutionizing the music market for years out of Vienna.

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 110 instrument makers in the city nowadays.

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.

Interviews with music stars and information on Vienna’s Beethoven year at music2020.vienna.info.

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

Musikverein

© WienTourismus / Lois Lammerhuber
Vienna State Opera

Vienna State Opera

© WienTourismus / Christian Stemper
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