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 (Disney classics is the 2021 theme)
- Programme also features the work of an honoree (Alan Menken is the 2021 award winner)
- Hosted in Vienna’s Konzerthaus concert hall
- 2021 dates: September 23-24
- See also: Events in Vienna | Vienna in October
Hollywood, Vienna, Music
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, 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 2021 award will go to Alan Menken, winner of no fewer than eight Academy Awards (four for Best Original Score and four for Best Original Song) and seven Golden Globes.
Menken is best known as a stalwart of Disney’s films. Those Academy Awards and Golden Globes came for his work on The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. But he also has a long history in musical theatre. For example, Menken wrote the music for the Little Shop of Horrors musical.
Given the honoree, you won’t be surprised to learn that the wider theme of the 2021 Hollywood in Vienna event is a celebration of Disney classics.
(We recently signed up for the Disney+ streaming service and had quite forgotten just how many wonderful tunes have emerged from that studio’s films.)
2021 dates and tickets
The 2021 event is actually the postponed 2020 event. Dates are Friday, September 23rd and Saturday, September 24th. Both days usually feature the same artistic programme, but the award ceremony is on the Saturday, when the tickets are a touch more expensive.
Buy tickets direct from the Konzerthaus website, if 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
P.S. Max Steiner, whose name graces the annual award, was born in Vienna in 1888 and came from a family with a long musical tradition. He 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).
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