The title pretty much tells you all you need to know – the home of music honours the home of movies with excerpts from film scores and songs (all performed live). And there’s an award ceremony, too.
- Annual gala event celebrating the best of film music
- Programme also features the work of an honoree
- Hosted in Vienna’s Konzerthaus concert hall
- 2020 dates: TBA (October 18 and 19 in 2019)
- See also: Events in Vienna
What’s it all about?
Each year, the city of Vienna presents the Max Steiner Film Music Achievement Award to a worthy individual and celebrates the event with a gala evening of Hollywoodesque musical entertainment.
Guest musicians, singers, and other artists join the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and a live choir to present a cornucopia of music drawn from the memorable scores and soundtracks of the movie world, accompanied by appropriate highlights on the big screen. A host guides you through the evening in English and German.
It’s a lot of fun, with a thick layer of Viennese propriety to ensure a classic feel. I attended the event way back in 2010 honouring Howard Shore (composer of, among other things, the music for The Lord of the Rings). Here’s a taste of the evening:
The event has become quite a prestigious one on the international calendar. Past award recipients include numerous Oscar winners, such as John Barry, Alexandre Desplat, James Horner, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Gabriel Yared, or Randy Newman.
The Konzerthaus venue, built in 1913, is one of Vienna’s top concert halls. In fact, one of the world’s top concert halls. So you’re guaranteed good acoustics and an impressive historical setting.
The last event only just finished, so I have no details yet of the honouree or programme.
The 2019 award went to Gabriel Yared, winner of an Oscar and Grammy for his score for The English Patient, and the composer for a long list of top films, such as Betty Blue, Cold Mountain, and City of Angels.
The wider theme of the evening was “A night at the Oscars”, featuring songs and music from various iconic award winners. For instance, The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, Jaws, Black Panther, and more.
2020 dates and tickets
The 2020 dates are not out yet (expect them to be a Friday and Saturday in mid- to late-October). Both days feature the same artistic programme, but the award ceremony is on the Saturday (so the tickets are a touch more expensive).
Buy tickets direct from the Konzerthaus website, once available. Note that both days are likely to sell out, so don’t hang about if you want to go and especially if you want the cheaper price categories.
How to get to the event
See the Konzerthaus article for directions. It’s quite central and easy to reach by public transport.
Address: Lothringerstrasse 20, 1030 Vienna | Website