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Vienna Media News 11/2019 Vienna 2020. Capital of Music

The rich musical legacy of Viennese classical music continues to thrive in all its vitality and variety in the capital of music. Today, like 250 years ago, Vienna still sets the tone as the capital of music. Every night in the city around 10,000 music fans are treated to live classical music at the State Opera, Musikverein, Konzerthaus, Volksoper and countless other great music institutions. Vienna has successfully managed to transpose its classical music legacy into the present day, adding plenty of fresh impetus along the way.

The impressive level of musical expertise in Vienna manifests itself across the board: in the quality of its educational institutions, its major opera houses and concert venues, in its accomplished orchestras and artists, in its numerous museums and memorial sites devoted to music in all its variety, as well as in its service industry for musicians – comprising everything from instrument makers to cutting-edge recording studios. On top of that come the concerts and events that pack the city’s music calendar, draw in fans in their droves and are followed live on TV by millions of classical music buffs worldwide, as is the case for highlights such as the New Year's Concert and the Summer Night’s Concert at Schönbrunn Palace by the Vienna Philharmonic.

Today as then, the capital of music with its dedicated – and highly-discerning – concertgoers attract top musicians from all over the world, who, like Ludwig van Beethoven before them, chose to live and work in the city. Today, opera singers Anna Netrebko, Elīna Garanča and Juan Diego Flórez, the conductor Philippe Jordan and instrumentalists Julian Rachlin and Aleksey Igudesman are among the highest-profile examples of musicians who are Viennese by choice.

Countless other internationally acclaimed musicians have a special relationship with Vienna. “You know, we have Nashville in America that’s ‘music city USA’, but in Europe ‘music city’ is Vienna,” says the singer, pianist and songwriter Billy Joel, who is one of America’s most successful solo artists. According to the legendary film music composer Hans Zimmer: “If there is one place on earth I think that is incredibly inspiring for musicians, it still is Vienna.” Virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell is similarly complimentary about Vienna: “I just feel Vienna is the city for music. And, of course, as a musician it is like heaven to come to the city. I think it is inspiring to be in a place that just has beauty on every corner.” And star pianist Yuja Wang feels at home in Vienna: “I have lots of friends in Vienna. Once I am here, I feel happy, I feel safe, I feel loved. I love walking in the Stadtpark, and then the Konzerthaus is not far from Musikverein. It is kind of a little piece of paradise.”

The Vienna Tourist Board has developed an innovative voice application for the Amazon and Google voice assistants for the 2020 theme year. Users who activate the Beethoven’s Vienna (or the German version: Beethovens Wien) Alexa Skill or Google Action, will find themselves at the start of an interactive audiobook on the life and work of Ludwig van Beethoven. It recounts stories and anecdotes that include surprising details that will intrigue even the most well-informed Beethoven experts and reveal a great deal about his works and personality. Recordings of all Nine of his Symphonies – performed by the Wiener Symphoniker under Philippe Jordan – provide the soundtrack. The Beethoven’s Vienna (the German version is called Beethovens Wien) Alexa Skill and Google Action voice application, which is available from the relevant stores will be advertised via digital marketing campaigns and in the German-speaking countries, the United Kingdom and the USA, as well as the various channels operated by the Vienna Tourist Board and the Wiener Symphoniker.

The Vienna Tourist Board and the Austrian National Tourist Board also worked together to develop a smart audio guide integrated into a pair of special sunglasses. Ludwig van Beethoven takes wearers on an acoustic tour of Vienna and New York with the help of Bose frames featuring integrated loudspeakers and the new #RelatedToAustria app. In Vienna, visitors can borrow the glasses for free from the Tourist information office on Albertinaplatz.

The City of Vienna is launching the upcoming anniversary year with a big party on December 16, 2019 inspired by the tagline of Beethoven belongs to everyone.

Information on the Vienna Tourist Board’s “Vienna 2020. Capital of Music” theme year:

Tourist Info Vienna, corner of Albertina and Maysedergasse, 1010 Vienna,, 09:00-19:00 daily

Voice application for the Amazon and Google voice assistants:


Vienna Tourist Board
Helena Hartlauer
Media Relations
Tel. (+ 43 1) 211 14-364