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music tour Vienna guide Yvonne Heuberger

Music Tour Vienna – Tracing Classical Composers

Vienna For Classical Music Fans

Opera and concert tickets booked but still convinced there is more to classical Vienna than live audio? You could be ready for the ‘music tour Vienna’. It helped me discover why there is so much talk about the capital of classical music.  The best was that I stepped right through the historic centre but discovered territory few travellers will ever know of. I  just joined a private insider tour.

“Each year, Vienna hosts 15,000 classical music events. Every evening, 10,000 people listen to live classical music in town. ” Yvonne, tour guide

Music tour Vienna. Yvonne, my local guide, kicked off behind the Vienna State Opera, on the terrace of the Albertina museum. Her story of the house was amusing, intriguing, and dramatic, like a good opera plot: There were tales of heavily digestible elephants and of suicide, of the Vienna Philharmonic’s relationship with Johann Strauss and of Gustav Mahler’s ground-breaking opera reforms.

music tour Vienna: the State Opera

“Vienna is the queen of classical music, not because we had many native geniuses. The Habsburg Emperors’ loved music and enthusiastically supported musicians and composers. Empress Maria Theresia was a trained opera singer, and emperors such as Joseph II composed music themselves. “ Yvonne

Tracing Beethoven, Haydn And Mozart

Music tour Vienna. We passed Lobkowitz Palace, which hosted an episode with Ludwig van Beethoven and his Eroica symphony. The Imperial Augustine chapel right next has been a hot spot for church music and stages beautiful free organ concerts (mark your calendars). As we progressed, Vienna’s well-trodden paths started to buzz with musical references I had no idea of: Emperor Joseph II, represented on Josefsplatz, was Wolfgang A. Mozart‘s employer. The ‘Redoute’ ball rooms at Hofburg were connected with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Imperial chapel was linked to the Vienna Boys Choir.

music tour Vienna: Augustine chapelMusic tour Vienna. The most bizarre tale Yvonne pulled out of her sleeve was how former choir boy Joseph Haydn’s skull was stolen around 60 years ago (ask her if she doesn’t mention it). Haydn died the same year when Napoleon Bonaparte stormed Vienna. He was a passionate Haydn fan and had his own way of paying tribute to the musical genius on his death bed…

Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his mentor Antonio Salieri and Italian master violinist and composer Antonio Vivaldi were all regulars at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The city’s prime landmark was a major concert hall in those days.

music tour Vienna: St. Stephen's CathedralWe moved on to a less obvious musical place: the house of the Roman Catholic Order of The Teutonic Knights. We visited it thanks to Mozart’s fateful incident with a representative of his Salzburg employer there. It was so good to see that romantic courtyard with its historic ‘Pawlatschen’ galleries.

Music tour Vienna. The curtain dropped at Mozart’s most famous residence close to St. Stephen’s. “For many travellers this is an excellent drop off point, as they continue to visit the Mozarthaus”, she said, leaving me with tips for five other key composers’ residences across town.

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NOTE: I was invited on the Music Tour Vienna by the tour guide. All opinions expressed are explicity my own.

Other great private tours reviewed by Vienna Unwrapped: Imperial Vienna Tour, Sigmund Freud Museum and Tour, Secret Vienna Tour, Vienna Jewish TourOtto Wagner Church (Art Nouveau Tour)
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