Each venue has its own character. Even if you rank the Konzerthaus behind the other two, it’s a bit like being the third-best basketball team in the USA: third-best locally, but still one of the very best in the world.
- Hundreds of concerts a year in four halls
- Classical focus, but also hosts jazz, world music and other genres
- Performances run September to June
- See also:
History and scope
(The architecture features an updated version of the historical Empire style)
A relative youngster in Vienna’s musical history, the Konzerthaus opened in 1913, its construction prompted by the city’s growing population and demands for a more modern event location.
Emperor Franz Joseph himself laid the final stone on October 19th. Unsurprisingly, then, the first music to fill the Konzerthaus was Joseph Haydn’s Kaiserlied (the melody for the official anthem of the Austrian Empire).
The opening concert featured, for example, the world premiere of Richard Strauss’s Festliches Präludium, an organ piece by Bach, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
(The glassed entrance)
Over 100 years later, and the location’s second only to the Musikverein in terms of prestige as a venue for orchestral performances; compositions by the likes of Zemlinsky, Schönberg, and others have also enjoyed world premieres here.
In contrast to its older colleague, the Konzerthaus offers a more eclectic, dare we say “adventurous”, programme of events and concerts that includes jazz, world music, Viennese folk, literary readings, and more. It’s also a venue for the Wien Modern contemporary music festival.
Nevertheless, the focus remains on classical music, whether string quartets, choral renditions, sonatas and soloists, or full orchestral works. The venue attracts the world’s elite musicians to its four concert halls; the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (the Wiener Symphoniker) has its main home here.
One or two special annual events usually take place in the Konzerthaus, too. For example, the Hollywood in Vienna movie music award gala and the Christmas in Vienna gala.
Tickets & visitor tips
The playing season normally extends from September to June, with a break across July and August; the official website has full details of the concert programme.
You can buy tickets online direct from the site, too, or in person from the Konzerthaus ticket office.
Konzerthaus members get advanced access to tickets and the venue is popular. So once you know your travel dates, check the programme and, if anything tickles your fancy, be sure to book seats as early as you can.
(A plaque in honour of Gustav Mahler hangs on the front of the building)
How to get to the Konzerthaus
Subway: Travel to the Stadtpark station on the U4 line and exit south. When you emerge outside, just keep walking straight ahead for 2 minutes, passing the Intercontinental hotel on your left.
Bus: Take the 4A line to the Akademietheater (at the same-named stop). The theatre backs onto the Konzerthaus.
The venue is also a 4-minute walk from Schwarzenbergplatz, which is served by the 2, D, and 71 trams.
The area positively hums with musical connections. Walk along the block to find yourself on Lisztstraße. Or cross over the road for Beethovenplatz, complete with the famous 1880 monument to the maestro.
Address: Lothringerstrasse 20, 1030 Vienna | Website