What are the best music festivals in Vienna in 2023? While most international visitors flock to classical festivals Vienna, the city also hosts regular music festivals that cater to a wide range of musical genres and preferences. To help you have our ear on the ground I have pulled together a festival guide for my home city:
Vienna Music Festival Guide. 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 32 years, the festival of early music has been gathering top international orchestras and ensembles under a different theme. In 2023, the local Konzerthaus will explore the ‘Underworlds’ along with the likes of Bach, Falconieri, Purcell, Telemann and Vivaldi. On 29th January, prepare to dive into the Roman oratorio ‘La Resurrezione’, one Händel’s absolute masterpieces, from 1708.
Dates: 21th to 29th January 2023
Location: Wiener Konzerthaus, Lothringer Strasse 20, 1030 Vienna
Tickets: get tickets
Vienna Music Festival Guide. When you hear Akkordeon tunes, do you think of popular festivals, buskers and silent movies, too? Instead of searching for a street musician on Kärntner 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, Café Mocca and Sargfabrik.
Listen here to a collection of the 2019 festival highlights:
Dates: 25th February to 26th March 2023
Tickets and Program: available from early 2023 at the event website
Vienna Music Festival Guide. 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).
Dates: 12th May to 17th June 2023
Locations: various across Vienna
Programme and tickets: go to website
Vienna Music Festival Guide. Open air theater plays and concerts in Count Schwarzenberg’s garden turn Theater im Park into one of the most exciting new summer festivals. Between mid May and mid September, the park’s ancient planes watch over a mix of popular comedians, cabaret artists and world class musicians. If your German doesn’t reach that far there is still hope for the 2023 programme to again include concerts by the Vienna Boys Choir, and Operetta Gala, Beethoven music or a waltz concert.
Vienna Music Festival Guide. Clearly, the Wiener Konzerthaus, the home of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, adores any kind of great music. Each year, it gathers more than 1,000 talented young choir singers widely praised International Youth Music Festival Summa Cum Laude, alongside other venues such as Wiener Musikverein. During six days in June/July, choirs from all parts of the world present themselves to the local public and take part in competitions.
Dates: 30th June to 5th July 2023
Location: Wiener Konzerthaus, Lothringer Strasse 20, 1030 Vienna; and other venues
Programme and Tickets: check the festival programme
Vienna Music Festival Guide. Although the annual Donauinselfest (Danube Island Festival) has traditionally been Europe’s largest free open air festival it will slim down considerably this year. For two days, the long stretch of the Danube Island will host an outdoor party for no more than 1,250 guests, instead of several thousand. If you want to experience the best of Austria’s pop culture, join fun loving people, along with pop stars and radio stations, for three free shows, Vienna sausages, kebabs and beer.
In 2023, prepare for some specials as the festival will celebrate its 40-year anniversary.
Date: 23rd to 25th June 2023
Location: Danube Island (Donauinsel) – check website for program updates;
Vienna Music Festival Guide. 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. in 2022, the festival presented a colorful mix of 18th and 19th century classics, jazz and swing to cult film music. Expect to hear Beethoven’s Eroica symphony, Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony, Schubert’s Unfinished to Ennio Morricone highlights.
Time: 22nd June (Midsummernights Gala) to early September 2023
Location: Grafenegg Castle; Schlosstrasse 10, 3485 Grafenegg
Programme and Tickets: from September 2022, 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.
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
Klezmore Vienna Festival
Vienna Music Festival Guide. 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. 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.
At the grand opening at Wiener Konzerthaus in 2023, Viennese composer Peter Jakober will perform a concert for string orchestra, supported by one other than the world renown Vienna Symphonic Orchestra. Throughout the festival period, you can choose between 50 events at around 16 locations.
Dates: 31st October to 30th November 2023