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A Stage on Every Corner

A Stage on Every Corner

The abundance of opera in this town sometimes makes me giddy. If all the world’s a stage, in Vienna it’s a theatre in song. And I’m not only talking about the three big opera houses in town, although they are all familiar, places where I often sit – or stand – with wide-eyed enthusiasm until […]

Sounds Like Summertime

Sounds Like Summertime

Festivals are to summer what drinking Glühwein is to Christmastime: Nothing prevents you from partaking all year round, but off-season, it just wouldn’t feel right. In Austria, culture vultures have already descended on the festival circuit – beginning to the west, at one of the country’s oldest continuing Festspiele: the salzburg festival (19 July – […]

China Meets Austria at the Musikverein

China Meets Austria at the Musikverein

“China Meets Austria” at the Musikverein is a night of symphonies, part of the greater Chinese Spring Festival, which aims to foster cultural connections between the young generations of the two countries. A mix of Chinese and Austrian musicians and orchestras will perform, including youth groups. Highlights of the eclectic programme include “In the Hall […]

The Diva and the Fiddler

The Diva and the Fiddler

Husband-wife voice and violin duo, “The Diva and the Fiddler”, will appear this month in Vienna with two special festive concerts. On Thursday, 20 December at 19:30 and in a matinee show on Sunday, 23 December at 15:00, the pair will present “The Joy of Christmas” in the baroque Kirche St. Anna. American soprano Diana […]

Sacrosanto: Finding the Holy Place

Sacrosanto: Finding the Holy Place

Herbert Willi is a small man with a shock of white hair, a slight build and calm, blue eyes. He agreed to meet just after the Wednesday rehearsal of his violin concerto Sacrosanto that would have its world premiere with soloist Nikolaj Znaider and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) under principal conductor Manfred Honeck one […]

Manfred Honeck’s Requiem

Manfred Honeck’s Requiem

The opening concert of the Pittsburgh Symphony Vienna tour fell on Thursday, 1 November, Allerheiligen, the Feast of All Saints. This a special occasion here, more than in the English-speaking world, when tradition escorts the Viennese to the graves of their ancestors, when the ageless sense of continuity is particularly strong. It’s a sense that […]

London-based Arditti Quartet Returns for Wien Modern

London-based Arditti Quartet Returns for Wien Modern

Leading the bill at Wien Modern is the London-based Arditti Quartet, one of the world’s greatest interpreters of contemporary string quartets: Over 700 works have received their première in the hands of these approachable virtuosos. The main piece on the programme, Luigi Nono’s Fragmente–Stille, An Diotima (1979-1980), is based on poetry by the Romantic poet […]

Book Review: Out of Time. The Vexed Life of Georg Tintner, by Tanya Buchdahl Tintner

Book Review: Out of Time. The Vexed Life of Georg Tintner, by Tanya Buchdahl Tintner

When a Composer Conducts his Life “Today I am 25 years old. I have achieved almost nothing. How time flies,” wrote Georg Tintner in an autobiographical note on his birthday in 1942. World War II was at its height, and the young Austrian composer and conductor was far away, living in Auckland, New Zealand, where […]

A Century of Schoenberg: The Emancipation Of Dissonance

A Century of Schoenberg: The Emancipation Of Dissonance

A century ago this month, a 40-minute event in Berlin – the first performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire – marked a decisive split in the European music scene. While the piece was received moderately graciously by its first audience, it was to become part of the schism between what people called “music”, and something […]

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