House of Strauss
Closely associated with Vienna and a global superstar like Mozart: Johann Strauss (son). The whole world has been turning to his Blue Danube Waltz since 1867 – a permanent feature of every New Year's Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic, which reaches an audience of millions in 90 countries. In 2023 – scheduled to start in the summer – you can now look forward to a new Strauss location and learn more about his fascinating personality and music in an original setting: The House of Strauss in Casino Zögernitz. – Vienna's big new Strauss location next to the golden Strauss memorial in the Stadtpark, the Strauss apartment on Praterstrasse, and the Strauss grave of honor at the Central Cemetery.
Brilliant concert hall
The special feature of this original Strauss site is its history: opened in 1837 by Johann Strauss Senior, the casino was a popular meeting place for Viennese society. In the summer of 1850, Johann Strauss Junior hosted a folk festival here with a glittering ball event, imposing illuminations and fireworks. Taking his cue from his famous father, he gave the event a suitably showy title and composed the Johannis-Käferln (Fireflies Op. 82) waltz especially for it. From 1880, his brothers Johann and Eduard Strauss would also give numerous concerts in the casino’s opulent Strauss Hall. In the years that followed, it had a range of uses: as a stage, open-air cinema, and for parties and balls. Thanks to its outstanding acoustics, from 1967 the hall also served as a recording studio for early and classical music, with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his Concentus Musicus among those to use it for precisely this purpose.
Exhibition, music, food – from summer 2023
The venue is also bringing back another key aspect of the Viennese art of living – the combination of culture and pleasure. The House of Strauss serves up a heady mix of light classical music at regular concerts and fine dining at Brasserie Casino Zögernitz. Meanwhile, an interactive exhibition brings the Strauss dynasty’s legacy to life through a state-of-the-art multimedia and audiovisual experience. The museum's lofty standards are upheld by the internationally acclaimed design and architecture studio Atelier Brückner whose portfolio includes a number of other sensational projects such as the Grand Museum of Egypt (Cairo) and the Museum of the Future (Dubai). The renovation of the Austrian Parliament in Vienna is another Atelier Brückner highlight.
Back at the House of Strauss, as soon as visitors set foot on the upper floor they will instantly find themselves immersed in the world of nineteenth century Viennese entertainment culture, with scenes from ballrooms, concert halls, and guest gardens. After all, the name Strauss is synonymous with entertainment, and nobody remained seated once their music filled the air of the concert hall. Additional focuses include the spirit of the times, trailblazers such as Franz Schubert, the Strauss brand and the Strauss family, and operetta. A fascinating room on the ground floor, the Octagon, presents the story of legendary waltz The Blue Danube on a moving screen – composed by Strauss Junior, “An der schönen blauen Donau”, to give the piece its German name, is Vienna and Austria’s unofficial anthem.
The world's leading Strauss experts have a hand in the House of Strauss, and the Vienna Institute for Strauss Research has found a new home here – headed, appropriately, by a scion of the Strauss dynasty: Eduard Strauss is the great-great-grandson of Johann Strauss (senior). A lawyer by trade, he is committed to ensuring that his family's history and music receives the careful kitsch-free treatment it deserves.
And Helmut Reichenauer, one of the top Strauss aficionados of all, is contributing both his personal collection (the largest archive of Strauss memorabilia in the world!) and his knowledge. The House of Strauss is also an academic center: young musicians from all over the world hone their talents to perfection at the Vienna Master Classes – at one of those places that underscore Vienna's reputation as the world capital of music.
Strauss and the World’s Fair
Undoubtedly a master of the high art of quality entertainment, Johann Strauss II was a real pro when it came to marketing, too. His concert tours took him as far as Russia and the USA. And at by far and away the biggest event of event of 1873 – the Vienna World's Fair – Strauss pulled off something of a coup when he secured exclusive performance rights for his band. But construction noise and duff acoustics took some of the shine off the opening concert in the Rotunda on May 1. Still, the band played on, but enjoyed only moderate success. In the hastily-erected music pavilion the orchestra alone was sheltered from the elements, ticket prices were high, and Strauss rarely deigned to pick up the baton himself. However, by organizing concerts in more suitable venues outside the World's Fair site, Strauss managed to swing public opinion in his favor. A headline concert on August 22, 1873, featuring the World's Fair Orchestra, the Vienna Men's Singing Society and four military bands was a huge success.
Johann and his brother Eduard Strauss created new compositions specially for their performances during the World's Fair: Johann the Rotunda Quadrille and the fast polka Vom Donaustrande, Eduard the waltz Expositionen. On the opening of the high-jet fountain upon completion of the new Viennese high-source water line, Eduard also composed the polka-mazurka Die Hochquelle, although this only premiered on February 9, 1874.
Johann Strauss had already presented his Persian March for the first time in 1864 – this replaced the then unavailable Persian national anthem on the sensational visit of Shah Nasir ed Din to the Vienna World's Fair. The Shah liked it: He awarded Johann Strauss the Persian Order of the Sun.
On November 4, 1873, the Chinese delegation to the World's Fair held a festive evening in the Musikverein: Johann Strauss conducted the Vienna Philharmonic, which performed his unforgettable Blue Danube Waltz.
Fancy a Strauss walk through Vienna? The city is full of traces of the music star.
House of Strauss im Casino ZögernitzDöblinger Hauptstraße 76
Die Ausstellung eröffnet im Frühling 2023 / Exhibition opening in 2023