Mozart: Austria and beyond

Mozart and Austria technically are not synonyms, but it is impossible to imagine Austria today without Mozarteum, marzipan sweets called “Mozartkugeln”, concert ticket sellers dressed in period costumes…  Whatever could be commercialized, is.

But there is a real history behind the music which keeps the world fascinated for more than two hundred years. Seeing what the composer saw when the magic sounds were born sometimes is as important, as listening to them.


Chamber Music in Innsbruck

Innsbruck is a beautiful city in the west of Austria.  Famous for skiing, it is incredibly rich in culture. Museums, exhibitions.  Beautiful old houses. Theatres and a lot of classical music. Today a few words about their series “MEISTER KAMMER konzerte”

This is a rich, well-designed platform for the best in international chamber music. Their slogan is “Between tradition and innovation”.

The next season,  2018 – 2019 starts on the 17th of October, 2018.  Signum, one of the best representatives of the so-called new “Quartet Generation” will play  Haydn, Janacek and Beethoven.

Chamber music at its finest.


One of the three most popular  Chamber Music Festivals in Austria takes place every year in May around Ascension Day at the Castle of Weinzierl in Lower Austria. The castle has been chosen as the venue of the festival because of its close connection to the founder of the string quartets, Joseph Haydn. The owner of the castle, the local nobility Baron von Fürnberg, invited the 23 years old Haydn in the year 1755 to his castle and by the baron’s order, Haydn composed the first string quartets ever. The aim of the baron was to perform the pieces of music together with the manager of his estate, his confessor and Haydn.

In the good tradition of these remarkable years middle of the 18th century, the Weinzierl chamber music festival was founded in 2009 by the Altenberg Trio Vienna. The castle was thoroughly refurbished in the years before 2011 and modernized with a roofed courtyard as well as a state of the art concert hall, which offers a perfect sound quality. Since 2011 well known international musicians such as the Minetti Quartet, Lars Wouters van den Oudenweijer, Sophie Dartigalongue and others are invited by the Altenberg Trio to perform during four days music composed by Haydn but also other famous composers. More than 1200 people, among them Brits, Germans, Swiss and French visitors,  attended the 6 concerts and the so-called promenade concert in May 2018. People are indulging themselves not only by listening to fabulous concerts but also enjoy the variety of the culinary offer, not to mention the excellent Austrian wine.

The 11th Weinzierl Music Festival, which takes place  May 30th  – June 2nd, 2019 will be again a highlight of the Austrian music scene. The program will be publicly launched late autumn this year.

Peter Damisch

And some pictures from the last month:



©Balazs Böröcz

Posted by Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus on Friday, 29 January 2016

This is possibly one of the most established and the most popular chamber music festivals in Austria.



The founder of the festival and its artistic director for more than thirty years was Gidon (Gideon in other transcriptions) Kremer.

Please read more about him here:

A very interesting life of a very gifted musician.


Muerzzuschlag. Early Music.

Miracles happen when you least expect them.

Would you join us for an evening of some baroque music? – ask friends.  Of course. When? Second of November. Where? Muerzzuschlag. Not that I’ve ever heard the name of that place.  Who is playing, what is the programme – I don’t know why we didn’t ask. Maybe, because we trust their taste? Maybe, because there were other things to talk about?

An hour drive. Chilly November evening. A modern building – art centre, or what they say in Austria – Art House (Kunsthaus). Tickets a bit more expensive than what you would normally expect, but not to the point that you start thinking “why?”. We get the programme. We keep talking, I don’t look at it.

And then – Rolf Lieslevand and Lorenz Duftschmid

Muerzzuschlag  ( )is now my favourite place on Earth. At least when it sounds like the music below.



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 start.

“Of course!” He looks at me with disbelief. “The number one cocktail last year. Still popular”

Hugo Wolf, I mean”

After a bit of confused silence: “That friend of your husband who…” (Sorry, Hugo, if you are reading this. Some sentences better left unfinished. You know the boy ).

Hugo Wolf is another Austrian composer who is not necessarily totally forgotten but  is not really known today either.  He was famous for his revolutionary use of tonality to underline meaning. One of his most famous works is “Italian Serenade”.

What we are going to on the 15th of October is the concert at Burg Perchtoldsdorf.  The title is “Hugo-Wolf-Serenade”. Matthias Fletzberger on piano. And Andreas Schager – wonderful voice.

Wagner, Smith’s aria from “Siegfried”.