Vienna Press Release – December 2023 The newly reopened House of Strauss: a museum for Johann Strauss II and his dynasty
The new House of Strauss in the Döbling district of Vienna opened on October 25, 2023 – the 198th birthday of Johann Strauss II, also known as Johann Strauss Sohn. The museum is dedicated to the extensive works of the Strauss dynasty of composers and the historic ball and concert nights of the time that were held here. The original and painstakingly restored rooms of the Casino Zögernitz, where the Strauss family and many other musicians and composers such as Joseph Lanner and Carl Michael Ziehrer performed in the 19th century, will be used for this purpose.
A complete experience over 2,000 m²
Black and white marble floors, old wallpaper lithographs, restored ceiling frescoes, opulent crystal chandeliers, velvet-covered futons and original 19th century Thonet furniture are all reminders of the history of the listed building, which was built in 1837. The Casino Zögernitz – once a popular meeting place for Viennese society – now has a new look after a sensitive historical refurbishment and restoration of the original paintwork.
In the museum on the upper floor of the House of Strauss, visitors are immersed from one room to the next in scenes and locations from the 19th century, featuring images of ballrooms and concert halls and stories from the period. The accompanying multimedia staging with acoustics and animated visuals, LED walls and sculptures as projection surfaces are intended to capture the spirit of the time using all the senses. Visitors can get involved at several interactive stations; as performers in an operetta or at the digital music stand.
The Blue Danube waltz in the Octagon
The theme on the ground floor of the central octagon is the story of Johann Strauss II’s legendary Danube Waltz “On the Beautiful Blue Danube”. The nine-minute long unofficial anthem of Austria is regularly played at New Year, for example as an encore at the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Year’s Concert, which is broadcast all over the world, and at balls in Vienna.
The Octagon leads to the heart of the building, the acoustically stunning and visually impressive 350 m² Strauss Hall. Recordings of early and classical music were made here from 1967 onwards, for instance with conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his Concentus Musicus. Johann Strauss appears in a virtual performance on a large stage, projected onto an LED wall, thanks to state-of-the-art technology.
Tradition and innovation
Interior designer Denis Košutić is responsible for giving the House of Strauss its finishing touch. The internationally acclaimed Atelier Brückner, whose eye-catching projects include the Grand Museum of Egypt (Giza) and the Museum of the Future (Dubai), has ensured that the museum is of outstanding quality. Furthermore, Atelier Brückner also carried out renovation work on the Austrian Parliament in Vienna.
“We are trying to rebuild the bridge between old and new, between then and now, and bring it to life. We want people to be able to experience first-hand what it was like back then,” explains owner and mastermind Hermann Rauter.
There are also plans for concerts with rows of seats, Strauss box seats and catering (coffee, cake, Strauss house wine) at the Strauss Hall from 2024.
Dining and shopping
Award-winning chef Stefan Glantschnig serves fine Viennese cuisine in the adjoining Casino Kulinarium restaurant, which has a 500 m² garden with mature trees and a historic fountain. The in-house museum store also offers carefully crafted souvenirs, accessories and gifts in addition to exclusive edible delicacies.
Experts and Strauss descendants
The House of Strauss is home to the world’s leading Strauss experts from the Vienna Institute for Strauss Research, which is directed by a descendant of the Strauss dynasty: Professor Dr. Eduard Strauss is the great-grandnephew of Johann Strauss II. Dr. Norbert Rubey has devoted his entire professional career to researching the Strauss dynasty. In order to promote young talent, the House of Strauss makes two rooms available to young musicians free of charge for master classes, which provide a constant musical accompaniment to the exhibition.
More Strauss destinations in Vienna: www.wien.info/en/recommendations/johann-strauss-walk
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