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Back to the African Roots

Back to the African Roots

Imbube, Mbalax, Jiti, Kizomba, Apala, Soukous, Taarab and Highlife. Sound familiar? These are not brands of beer, but rather the styles of African music that in one way or another have influenced the formation of blues and jazz. Last issue’s “Hot Sounds for Summer” showcased Vienna’s Jazz Fest, which featured one particular incarnation of this […]

Playing Host to the World At the Musikverein

The imposing, red-brick and sandstone face of the Vienna Musikverein stands just across the outer Ring from the Karlskirche, a Greek Revival temple to music whose legendary aura fascinates all who see it. Rightly regarded as one of the best concert halls in the world, the Musikverein’s suspended wooden floor resonates like a drum, so […]

Cycling, Neusiedl & Ráspi

If there are still some sunny days in September or October, if Summer manages to stretch itself into Fall and Autumn doesn’t pretend to be Winter, there may still be a chance to enjoy a bicycle ride down the length of the Neusiedler See in Burgenland, across the Hungarian border and to one of the […]

Silencing the Future: Will We Lose the RSO?

The Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, with principal conductor Bertrand de Billy and its 97 members, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this season, forty years of dynamic, often daring programming. Nevertheless, financial problems within the ORF (the Austrian national public broadcaster) have recently threatened to disband the orchestra or force it to become independent, finding support […]

Finding the Clue to Sicily

        “To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all; for Sicily is the clue to everything.” – Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 1787 Leave it to Goethe to get us off to a good start. And let us add that Syracuse is probably a good clue to […]

Rapid’s Revival

On a recent Thursday night, Flanagan’s Irish Pub was filled to overflowing with green paraphernalia. But this was not St. Patrick’s Day: This crowd had gathered to watch the historic SK Rapid (green) – Aston Villa (burgundy) football match that would decide the entrant into the group stage of the Europa League. And that night, […]

Unexpected stop

The train from Vienna to Linz on that Friday afternoon was jammed with students stumbling past under over-sized backpacks, friendly pensioners with feisty fox terriers and fraught families with giant suitcases trying to squeeze by the exhausted who had camped out permanently in the corridor. I was early, thank god, and managed to snatch a […]

Pooch over partner

As I write, a bittersweet reflection swirls around in my mind of what natural human bonds have turned into. You see, it has become a normal sight for me now, to watch a couple indulge their dog – or any other pet – by any means possible – with expensive special food, walks in public […]

A World-Changing European Picnic

Laszlo Nagy laughs modestly and brushes off the suggestion that he is a Hero of Democracy. Despite the many honors bestowed on him over the two decades since he helped organize the Pan European Picnic at Sopronpuszta near the Neusiedl Lake, he insists he had no idea at the time that the event would unfurl […]

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