Hofburg Festsaal - Klassische Konzerte Wien - Vienna Concerts

Hofburg Festsaal

Hofburg Festsaal - Klassische Konzerte Wien - Vienna Concerts

Hofburg Festsaal

Hofburg Heldenplatz - Wien Konzerte - Vienna Concerts

Hofburg Heldenplatz

Hofburg Nationalbibliothek - Wien Klassische Konzerte - Concerts in Vienna

Hofburg Nationalbibliothek

Hofburg Zeremoniensaal - Wien Konzerte - Vienna Concerts

Hofburg Zeremoniensaal

Hofburg Josefsplatz - Klassische Strauss Mozart Konzerte Wien - Concerts Vienna

Hofburg Josefsplatz

Klassische Konzerte in Wien - Vienna Concerts - Strauss and Mozart

Konzerthaus Mozart Saal

Hofburg Festsaal - Klassische Konzerte Wien - Classical Concerts Vienna

Hofburg - Festsaal

Hofburg Festsaal - Klassische Konzerte Wien - Classical Concerts Vienna

Hofburg - Festsaal

Hofburg Redoutensaal - Klassische Konzerte Wien - Classical Concerts Vienna

Hofburg Redoutensaal

Hofburg Redoutensaal - Klassische Konzerte Wien - Classical Concerts Vienna

Hofburg Redoutensaal

Klassische Konzerte Wien - Classical concerts in Vienna - Hofburg

Hofburg Feststiege


The Hofburg Imperial Palace and the Vienna Konzerthaus

The History of the Vienna Hofburg

The Hofburg in Vienna is the former imperial residence. The Hofburg Palace complex was built between the 13th and 19th century. Six centuries of construction has strongly shaped the building’s appearance.
The different wings of the former imperial residence portray the architectural periods of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque up to Classicism and the Wilhelminian era.
Until 1918 the Hofburg Palace was the seat of the Habsburg dynasty. Almost every ruler had parts added or altered or redesigned and decorated for his family and himself.

The Festsaal (Festival Hall)

A smaller hall leads to the grand Festival Hall, which was erected under Emperor Franz Joseph I. in 1908 and completed only in 1923.
The impressive ceiling frescos by the painter Schramm display Emperor Franz Josef I’s device: „Viribus Unitis“ (Latin = „with united forces“) and the reigning power Austria..
The center image shows Austria, surrounded by allegoric depictions of religion, justice, bravery, science, art, and agriculture. The 15 lunettes by Veith show significant rulers of the Habsburg dynasty
Other octagon sections by the painter Stauffer include images of Commander Charles of Lorraine (Karl v. Lothringen), John Sobieski – King of Poland, Commander Prince Eugene of Savoy, State Chancellor Prince Kaunitz, and Prince Metternich.

Map Hofburg Festsaal

The Zeremoniensaal (Ceremonial Hall)

Leaving the Festsaal a side gallery leads to the Zeremoniensaal, built in the Classicist style from 1802 to 1806 under Emperor Franz I. by the Court architect Ludwig Montoyer. The magnificent cassette ceiling, carried by 24 round columns made of artificial marble, the so-called „stucco lustro“, which was in vogue at the time.
In 1810 Napoleon I. chose the Zeremoniensaal for his courtship and to ask Emperor Franz I. for the hand of his daughter Archduchess Marie Luise. Until the end of monarchy in 1918 the Hall serves as the throne room where Emperor Franz I. gave knighthood to many Peers.
Emperor Franz Joseph I (1830 – 1916) and his wife Elisabeth held annual symbolic foot washing ceremonies and washed the feet of 24 old men and women. This ritual was to honor the peoples’ religious customs and the reining couple saw it as their personal matter of care.

The Zeremoniensaal accommodates court concerts and balls.
Emperor Franz Joseph I. and Empress Elisabeth held grand gala evenings such as the “ Ball bei Hof“ (Court Ball) to which only the Royal Household and high aristocracy were admitted.

Map Hofburg Zeremoniensaal

The Redoutensaal (Redouten Hall)

Built as an opera house in 1705 under Emperor Joseph I, grand baroque operas were performed in the Redouten Halls. In 1748 Maria Theresia commissioned Jean Nicolas Jadot to redesign this part of the Hofburg. The festival halls were the venues for many concerts, "Redoutes" (masquerade balls), as well as for the magnificent wedding banquet of Joseph II and Isabella of Parma.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s 8th Symphony as well as Franz Schubert’s Symphony Nr. 8, in B-minor "Die Unvollendete" (The Unfinished) premiered here. The composers Josef Strauss and Franz Liszt conducted concerts in these glamorous halls, and a number of smaller Mozart operas were performed here.

At a public masquerade ball in the Redouten Hall one Carnival Monday on March 3rd 1783, Mozart performed „Masquerade“ during an intermission- a pantomime piece with music that he had written himself.

At the wedding of Archduke Franz and Maria Theresia in the Redouten Hall, Antonio Salieri arranged the Tafelmusic.

On March 29 in 1828 the famous master of the violin Niccolo Paganini performed a concert and the Empress, Archduke Charles and Archduchess Sophie honored him with their presence.

Also in the large Redouten Hall Otto Nicolai conducted a „Grand Concert“ on March 28 1842 hosted by  the „entire orchestra personnel of the K. and K. (=Royal) Court Opera Theatre“. This foundation of the "Philharmonic Academie", as it was originally called, is rightfully considered to be the birth hour of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Wiener Philharmoniker).

After a fire in 1992 the rooms were renovated, whereas some parts were restored true to the original and others were furnished with modern technical equipment for conventions. 1198 saw the reopening of te Redouten Halls. Te large Redouten Hall was designed by painter Josef Mikl, who in the 1950s created the gestic painting style together with Wolfgang Hollegha and Markus Prachensky, as part of the Austrian Avantgarde. The murals in the large Redouten Hall show Mikl’s depictions of scenes by his favorite writers Elias Canetti, Johann Nestroy and Ferdinand Raimund. Invisible to the viewer, Mikl has handwritten 34 verses of the poem „Jugend“ (Youth) by Karl Kraus on the 404 square meter large ceiling fresco.

Map Hofburg Redoutensaal

The History of the Vienna Konzerthaus

The Vienna Konzerthaus - A House for Everyone

In 1890 the notion of a future building to host musical festivals emerged and the idea was to create a new multi purpose building that should be more appealing to the broader public than the traditional Vienna Musikverein.
Architect Ludwig Baumann had the first idea: His «Olympion» should hold rooms for concerts, an ice skating and bicycle clubs, and also include an open air arena for an audience of 40,000.
This specific plan was abandoned but the general notion remained, and the construction of the Konzerthaus  began in December of 1911. The same Ludwig Baumann together with famous theatre architect Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Gottlieb Helmer designed the building so that performances in the three large halls (Large Hall, Mozart Hall and Schubert Hall) can take place simultanously without disturbing each other.

Map Konzerthaus

The Early Years of the Vienna Konzerthaus

From the very beginning the Wiener Konzerthaus’ cultural purpose and artistic mission was clear: «To be a place for cultivating fine music, a staging area for artistic endeavors, and to be a house for music and a house for Vienna.» It was in this spirit that the Konzerthaus celebrated ist opening on October 19 in 1913 with a festive concert in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph I. Richard Strauss wrote his «Festival Prelude opus 61» for this special occasion, the performance was followed by Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. This kind of program –combining a contemporary piece and a masterpiece from the past – was to become exemplary for the Vienna Konzerthaus: the agenda of cultivating tradition and at the same time supporting innovations has become the foundation of the Konzerthaus’ musical world and forms its artistic identity.

The Vienna Konzerthaus between the World Wars

Social upheavals and financial crises between the two World Wars have significantly shaped the Konzerthaus’ artistic profile and also led to a versatility in regards to its cultural offering, which from the present perspective has proven to be groundbreaking.

In addition to the constant cultivation of the classical repertoire the programs in the 1920s and 30s featured significant premiers, Jazz and popular music concerts, literature readings by famous writers, psychic lectures, expressive dance performances, symposia, conventions, as well as fencing and box world championships.
In the years between 1938 and 1945 the Vienna Konzerthaus suffered from cultural depletion.

Under the destructive pressure of the national socialist dictatorship the Konzerthaus became a location abused for propaganda and Nazi entertainment  and was largely deprived of its central cultural content.

The Vienna Konzerthaus - New Beginnings after 1945

After World War II the Konzerthaus played an important role in revitalizing and renewing the Austrian musical life. It rapidly became a leading organizer of modern music performances in Austria and was much in demand for international Jazz events in Vienna.

Events fathered by the Konzerthaus have set significant standards in Vienna’s culture. Old music, Jazz and modern music have become important components of the Konzerthaus’ program and complement ist primary artistic focus – classical music in its traditional abundance.

The Vienna Konzerthaus’ unique atmosphere does not only attract international music artists, but also serves as a popular location for other social events such as balls, conventions, dinners, company presentations and parties. The famed Konzerthaus’ service at events has a long tradition going back to the twenties, whereas the broad range of programs and performances definitely point to the future. 
Due to the extensive reconstruction measures between 1998 and 2001 the time-honored building is equipped to meet the challenges of the third century.

Wiener Musikverein

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Palais Liechtenstein

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Börse Palais

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