What are the best music festivals in Vienna in 2020? As always in Vienna, do have your ear on the ground in this ‘city of music’. If you are serious about music why not pick a Vienna music festival and then treat yourself to a daily dose of gorgeous tunes? To help you do that I have pulled together a festival guide for my home city:
Vienna Music Festival Guide 2020. Prefer Bach to Mozart, motet to serenade? Each January, Vienna celebrates Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music for nine days. If you love to explore Old Europe’s sounds of harpsichords, recorders, lutes, and guitars, dive into the annual Resonanzen Festival.
For the past 27 years, the festival has been gathering top international orchestras and ensembles under a different theme. In 2020, the ten scheduled concerts will be dedicated to ‘The 10 Commandments’, among them Georg Friedrich Händel’s masterpiece oratorio Theodora.
Dates: 18th to 26th January 2020
Location: Wiener Konzerthaus, Lothringer Strasse 20, 1030 Vienna
Tickets: secure tickets for Händel’s Theodora (18th January, click for tickets from 11th November 2019)
International Accordion (Akkordeon) Festival
Vienna Music Festival Guide 2020. When you hear Akkordeon tunes, do you think of popular festivals, buskers and silent movies, too? Instead of searching for a street musician on Kaerntner Strasse you can hear accordion bands at local events between mid February and mid March. In a mix of classical, popular and jazz concerts the best performers from Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Israel Italy, Poland and more countries will unfold their skills. On top of that, you will cut deep into Vienna’s urban fabric at venues such as Schutzhaus Zukunft, Cafe Mocca and Sargfabrik.
Listen here to a collection of the 2019 festival highlights:
Dates: 22nd February to 22nd March 2020
Tickets and Program: available from early 2020 at the event website
Vienna Music Festival Guide 2020. What on earth have the Wiener Festwochen in common with The Sound of Music? Actually, both helped Austria after the Nazi Regime to re-set its image and re-connect with the world. While Hollywood adapted history in The Sound of Music, the Vienna Festival actively makes you think about Austria’s past in a forward-looking way through art and culture.
Since the 1950’s, the Wiener Festwochen blend the established with the latest in local and international art, music, dance, theater, performance, installation, and workshops. As much as unheard-of newcomers also classical artists form part of the festival.
During Austria’s largest cultural festival, expect fresh approaches to world classics performed by top orchestras, conductors, theater producers and singers. This photo shows Hungarian film maker Béla Tarr. Definitely, the festival’s highlight is the grand opening show in front of Vienna City Hall (free admission). Book well in advance before you visit Vienna.
Dates: 15th May to 21st June 2020
Locations: various across Vienna
Programme and tickets: go to website
Vienna Music Festival Guide 2020. When the annual Donauinselfest, Europe’s largest free open air festival, arrives summer gets into full swing in Wien. For three days, the long stretch of the Danube Island transforms into a huge outdoor party.
If you want to experience the best of Austria’s pop culture, join thousands of fun loving people, along with dozens of pop stars and radio stations, for free concerts, Vienna sausages, kebabs and beer. All in all, Donauinsel, will close a fun gap in your Vienna sightseeing programme.
Date: 26th to 28th June 2020
Location: Danube Island (Donauinsel)
Vienna Jazz Festival
Locations: various across Vienna, from the Vienna State Opera and Vienna Konzerthaus to open air concerts at City Hall square to Hundertwasser-designed incineration plant.
Programme and Tickets: visit website
Vienna Music Festival Guide 2020. Just outside of Vienna, Grafenegg Castle in the Danube’s Wachau Valley has become an insider spot for lovers of classical and jazz music. Each summer top musicians and orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra perform at this romantic 19th century castle.
Between August and September, the ‘Cloud Tower’ auditorium will air sounds of famous classical composers. During the 250th Beethoven anniverary 2020, the festival will go heavy on this amazing classical composer. Expect to hear Beethoven highlights, from his Missa Solemnis to opera Fidelio and his best piano concerti. As for other composers, there will also be Bruckner, Gershwin, Mahler, Mozart and others on the menu.
Time: 14th August to 6th September 2020
Location: Grafenegg Castle; Schlosstrasse 10, 3485 Grafenegg
Programme and Tickets: from early 2020, get tickets for various performances (the ticket site also offers a resale service in case your trip plans change). In case of bad weather there is an option to move the open air event to the onsite Auditorium.
Transfer And More: Conveniently, a festival shuttle bus runs from Vienna to Grafenegg and back. However, once you travel to Grafenegg you may as well visit UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wachau Valley nearby. For example, you could take a boat ride on the Danube, followed by lunch at a winery and exploring baroque Melk Abbey before getting showered with music and fireworks at Grafenegg. Get in touch if you need assistance.
Klezmore Vienna Festival
Vienna Music Festival Guide 2020. When the Klezmer clarinets start teasing, laughing and chatting with you Jewish Vienna and its European heritage flourish again. During two weeks in November the Vienna Klezmore Orchestra along with other bands from Europe and overseas stage a dozen vibrant concerts across town. With that much Jewish dance music and Yiddish songs from the Steppes and Shtetls it’s hard to stay seated.
Wien Modern Festival
Vienna Music Festival Guide 2020. Wien Modern is the ultimate local festival for contemporary music. Uniquely for Vienna, the event provides an international platform for contemporary music, supported by dance, performance, visual arts, film and video. In this photo from Wien Modern you see the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra under the baton of French conductor Sylvain Cambreling.
Each festival is related to a theme. In 2017, for example, ‘Images In Your Head’ approached visuals and music through orchestra music, electronic music, film, workshops and performances. In general, you can choose between 50 events at around 16 locations.
Dates: 29th October to 30th November 2020 (tbc)
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