Hannes Richter

Vienna: City of Dreams

Hannes Richter
Vienna: City of Dreams

The Vienna State Opera
(c) WienTourismus/Christian Stemper

“Heaven, Vienna mine, Laughter and music and stars that shine,
Wonderful city where I belong, Of her I sing my song”
[Vienna, City of my Dreams, Rudolf Sieczynski]

by Anja Mayer

Vienna, as one of the most vibrant cultural hotspots in Europe, has for centuries been home to many artists, composers, thinkers and poets from all corners of the continent. Over the years, the city’s lively intellectual and artistic scene, and unique culture has served as a catalyst for creative processes and exchanges, that left an impact all over the world. Besides being the birthplace of revolutionary breakthroughs in the fields of psychology, literature and the arts, Vienna especially had an important influence on the evolution of classical music.

From 1780 until 1824, a period which is sometimes also referred to as the Viennese Classics, composers like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Josef Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven revolutionized the European music scene. It was during that time that music evolved from background entertainment during social gatherings to a highly respected cultural form of art with an even higher social significance, earning Vienna the reputation as the capital of composition. Since then many more accomplished composers, musicians and artist have emerged from the city’s cultural scene onto the world stage.

To salute Vienna’s unique and extraordinary musical legacy, the Carnegie Hall in New York City will host a three-week citywide festival in the spring of 2014. The event will feature symphonic and operatic masterpieces, chamber music and a variety of new music that is emerging from the Austrian capital. The central piece of the festival is a concert series by the renowned Vienna Philharmonic orchestra. Their residency, which will include seven concert performances, will mark only the second time in history that the Viennese musicians have performed opera in concert at Carnegie Hall. The festival will extend throughout New York City and will feature other musical highlights such as Beethoven’s violin sonata cycle, Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin and the premiere of new work by Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas. Apart from concert performances, the celebration will combine a variety of art disciplines including film screenings and art exhibitions at different cultural venues throughout the city. The kick-off event of the festival will be the annual traditional Viennese Opera Ball at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on February 21, 2014.

For more information: www.carnegiehall.org/vienna/