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Gustav Mahler once wrote:”In its beginnings, music was merely chamber music, meant to be listened to in a small space by a small audience”. Since that time classical music has grown and developed dramatically. The role of  Austria in this development is so big, that sometimes you can even come across claims that classical music and  Austria, in particular, Vienna, are synonymous. (Well, it is tempting to agree, but what to do then with fairy-tale landscapes, mouth-watering cuisine, skiing, outstanding spas, Freud and Red Bull, to mention just a few of other would-be-synonyms for Austria?)

Whether you consider Vienna to be its birthplace or not, classical music in Austria in all its imaginable forms, has an undeniably rich history and an exceptionally strong modern tradition, from the Vienna State Opera to the Arnold Schönberg Centre and beyond.

Chamber music, albeit only a small part of classical music landscape in  Austria, remains one of the most intimate, deepest and most joyful experiences in today’s world of music. The list of Austrian composers is endless.  It is humanly not possible for a few people to cover the entire depth and breadth of classical chamber music in  Austria today.

We at Classical Music Austria would like to do what we could do best:

  • share with you the chamber music gems we found and fell in love with;
  • show you the jewels beyond the beaten track of tourist traps and commercialised performances;
  • take you to the places in Austria connected to the history of classical music in a most unique manner, but still not well known – for example, the Birthplace of the String Quartet;
  • tell you more about our favourite composer, Joseph Haydn, and about the event we help to organise – Music Festival MUSIKFEST SCHLOSS WEINZIERL

More about Weinzierl and its MUSIKFEST

Weinzierl Palace near the town of Wieselburg (approximately 80 minutes drive from Vienna) is not well known internationally but has a very significant connection to chamber music.

It is here that

  •      Joseph Haydn worked during his early years,
  •      he composed his very first string quartets,
  •      the annual Haydn Festival,  MUSIKFEST SCHLOSS WEINZIERL takes place. You can read more about the history of the festival here.

 

The Altenberg Trio Wien, the founders of this festival, is  a  piano trio formed in  1994  in  Vienna.  The Tiro is  named after a  Viennese poet  Peter  Altenberg.  Since its debut during the  Salzburg  Mozart Week in  1994,  it is one of the few full-time piano trios in  Europe.

The ensemble became trio-in-residence of Vienna’s Gesellschaft der  Musikfreunde  (Musikverein)  where they perform an annual series of concerts in the Brahms-Saal.  Their repertoire encompasses more than  250  piano trios,  among them works that were composed specifically for and premiered by the  Altenberg  Trio,  such as  Douglas  Weiland’s  First  Trio,  opus  22  (1995) or the piano trio by the Austrian composer Friedrich Cerha (2007), which he dedicated to the Altenberg Trio.

In  1999,  following the  release of  their recording  of the  complete  Schumann piano  trios,  the  Trio received  the  Robert  Schumann  Award of  the  City of  Zwickau.   Their recording  of trios from  Ives  (Piano  Trio),  Copland and  Bernstein  (Piano  Trio)  won the  Edison  Award in  Amsterdam in  2000.

Since the 2012/2013 season, the Altenberg Trio includes Christopher Hinterhuber, piano, and Christoph Stradner, violoncello, as new members. Amiram Ganz, violinist and founding member of the trio, continues to contribute his art and experience to the ensemble. Christopher Hinterhuber and Christoph Stradner together with Amiram Ganz stand for “Continuity in Change”.

About Us

In its beginnings, music was merely chamber music… Gustav Mahler

Classical Music Austria has been created by people who love classical music for people who share our passion. It doesn’t mean you won’t find opera or orchestra on CMA’s pages. But chamber music remains the main emphasis.

Peter Damisch, Gloria Bretschneider, Tanya Koshechkina, Rudolf Bretschneider

 

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Hugo.

I talked to the neighbour. It is his last year at the university. He is very bright and very much into hospitality business (that’s his degree, which I am sure will be with distinction when the time comes next year). “What are you doing this weekend?”, – he asks. “Oh, do you know Hugo…” – I …

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