With which event does the whole world associate Vienna? Where will this event take place? What is so special about this building? Who was the architect?
Vienna is associated worldwide with the famous New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra . The Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein, located parallel to the Ringstrasse, not far from the State Opera, provides the appropriate setting.
The birth of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra falls on the March 28, 1842. Kapellmeister Otto Nicolai conducted a “Grand Concert” in the Redoutensaal of the Vienna Hofburg. Before that, there was no concert orchestra consisting of professional musicians. The most important principle was and still is: only a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra could become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic .
In 1870 Johann Strauss Sohn conducts his waltz “Freuet euch des Lebens” at the opening ball of the Golden Hall in the Vienna Musikverein. The excellent acoustics are still the great feature of the house today.
Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler and Anton Bruckner are names that are closely associated with the Vienna Musikverein.
Theophil von Hansen, a Danish architect who studied the acoustics of ancient amphitheaters in Greece, was brought to Vienna to build the Golden Hall at the Musikverein. On January 6, 1870 , the house was ceremoniously opened and still lives up to its reputation – as the best concert hall in the world .
Hansen designed two halls – a large hall for orchestral music and a small room for chamber music concerts. The Viennese company Anton Wasserburger was responsible for the stonemasonry work. The sandstone came from St. Margarethen and Breitenbrunn. Hard limestone from Kaisersteinbruch and Wöllersdorf was also used. The small hall is named after Johannes Brahms , who was once the director here.
The Viennese were delighted by the architecture and splendor of the Golden Sales. It is 48.80m long and 19.10m wide. The height is 17.75m. This cuboid shape provides the great acoustics of the room. The coffered ceiling, balconies, caryatids provide optimal distribution of sound waves. A cavity under the wooden floor confirms the good acoustics as well as the ceiling made of wood, which is only suspended from the truss. All this together makes the sound in the hall vibrate in the best way. August Eisenmenger created the ceiling painting – Apollo and the Nine Muses.
In 2004 there was a modern underground extension , as halls for smaller concerts, rehearsals and receptions were opened. These are equipped with the latest technology. Austro-Canadian Frank Stronach was involved in the financing.
There is room for 2,000 people , of which 1,700 are seated and about 300 are standing. The famous New Year’s Concert sells out the house every year. Tickets have been raffled for some time, which is a fair system.
Time Travel Tip: In Vienna, about 10,000 tickets are sold every evening for cultural events. Among them, many concerts and, of course, the choice is difficult. A concert in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein is absolutely recommendable and worth the few euros more for the unique experience. In addition, there is also cheap standing room if you don’t mind standing.
The Musikverein also offers guided tours of the house , so for a small tour fee you can also come to the Golden Hall.
More info: Musikverein – The music club