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 an award ceremony adds even more glamour to the occasion.
- Annual gala event celebrating the best of film music
- Programme also features the work of an honoree
- Hosted in Vienna’s prestigious Konzerthaus concert hall
- 2023 dates: TBA (was September 23-24 in 2022)
- See also:
Hollywood, Vienna, Music
(The Konzerthaus venue)
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 all the way back in 2010 honouring Howard Shore (composer of, among other things, the music for The Lord of the Rings). Enjoy a taste of that evening in the video at the bottom of the article.
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, Alan Menken, James Horner, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Gabriel Yared, and Randy Newman.
Max Steiner, whose name graces the annual award, was born in Vienna in 1888 and came from a family with a long musical tradition.
Steiner eventually found his way to Hollywood, where he became a pioneer of film music and won three Academy Awards. His work provided a soundtrack to some of the world’s most enduring movies (e.g. Gone with the Wind and Casablanca).
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 have a guarantee of good acoustics and an impressive historical setting.
The 2022 award (actually the postponed 2020 award) went to Alan Menken, winner of no fewer than seven Golden Globes, eleven Grammy Awards and eight Academy Awards (four for Best Original Score and four for Best Original Song).
Menken is, of course, a stalwart of Disney’s films. Those awards came for his work on the likes of The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin.
But Menken also has a long history in musical theatre. For example, he wrote songs for the Little Shop of Horrors musical.
Given the honoree, you won’t be surprised to learn that the wider theme of the 2022 Hollywood in Vienna event was a celebration of Disney classics.
2023 dates and tickets
I await information on the next event, so check their website (see below) or watch this space.
For the record, the 2022 was held on Friday, September 23rd and Saturday, September 24th. Both event days featured the same artistic programme, but the award ceremony was on the Saturday.
Buy tickets to Hollywood in Vienna direct from the Konzerthaus website, once dates and details are available. Note that both event days are likely to sell out quickly, 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 | Event website
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