Culture is not just for the elite in Vienna. For example, the Wiener Symphoniker orchestra is known for its outreach concerts around the city districts. And once a year, it also gives a free, open-air performance at the MQ (Museumsquartier).
- Free concert from the world-famous Vienna Symphony Orchestra
- Very central location, easily reached on foot
- The MQ courtyard has plenty of bars and restaurants, too
- 2020 date: TBA (was May 31 from 8.30 pm in 2019)
- See also: How to see a concert | Museumsquartier
An open-air concert
The MQ is a kind of pick’n’mix of museums, restaurants, exhibition space, venues and cultural activities. In summer, the large courtyard fills with people eager to enjoy the open-air bars and breathe in the heady scent given off by all that art.
Once a year, the magnificent Wiener Symphoniker (Vienna Symphony) orchestra finds its way into that same courtyard to add a touch of musical sophistication to proceedings. And their open-air concert is entirely free.
As such, the MQ event slips gracefully into a little collection of free annual classical concerts that includes the Fest der Freude on Heldenplatz square in early May, and the Summer Night Concert at Schönbrunn Palace in June.
The Wiener Symphoniker is one of the globe’s most prestigious orchestras, regularly appearing at Vienna’s two world-class venues: the Konzerthaus and Musikverein. So consider the MQ event a remarkable opportunity to enjoy outstanding musicians for the price of, well…nothing.
It’s way too early for the 2020 programme, so here a look back at what was on offer in 2019…
The performance had an Italian flavour to it. Conductor, Speranza Scappucci, grew up in Rome and lead the Wiener Symphoniker for the first time. She’s no stranger to the Viennese music scene, though, having wielded the baton, for example, at various productions at the Vienna State Opera. Scappucci even conducted at the famous Opernball (in 2017).
The programme began and ended with operatic overtures: Verdi’s La Forza del Destino and Rossini’s William Tell. Mendelssohn and Strauss Jr. filled the bits in between.
2020 dates and tickets
I’m awaiting confirmation of the 2020 date. The 2019 concert took place on Friday, May 31 from 8.30 pm.
No ticket is required. However, the central courtyard of the MQ has a limited capacity, so go early if you want a decent view.
How to get to the concert
Check the main Museumsquartier article for info on parking, public transport, etc.. The main courtyard is, unsurprisingly, just inside the main entrance at the centre of the complex, sandwiched between the Leopold and MUMOK museums.
Address: Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna