The stars of the music world are mad about Vienna – for many of them, the city is their artistic home. Here, six of them tell us why – intimate impressions of the city from opera singer Valentina Nafornița and her colleague Juan Diego Flórez, violinist Julian Rachlin, singer-songwriter Rebekka Bakken, music producer Walter Werzowa, and the multitalented Aleksey Igudesman.
“Every successful musician, including those that are already hugely famous, still dreams of coming back once a year to perform in Vienna. I’ve heard agents and singers say that so often. There’s just something in the air here.”
“I love Vienna, because in my opinion it’s a place for everyone. Vienna is a big city, but despite that you still feel safe here. I feel good when I’m walking in the street here. Maybe because Vienna is such an international place, and you come into contact with so many different cultures, and get to meet such wonderful, diverse people.” Valentina Nafornița
“I think Vienna was the city of music and it still is today. That’s the reason why I wanted to move here. Vienna is the best city to live in if you have a strong affinity with music. I first appeared here when I was about 25 years old, in a Rossini opera at the Wiener Konzerthaus.” Juan Diego Flórez
“I started playing at the Konzerthaus and the Musikverein when I was 14. Once, I had the privilege of playing with my absolute favorite violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, as a conductor. I will never forget it. It was a dream come true. Like when an actor dreams of making a film with Cary Grant or Humphrey Bogart. Vienna is to classical music what Hollywood is to the film industry.” Julian Rachlin
“Vienna has such a vibrant music scene. Artists who perform here, musicians who study here, string producers like Thomastik-Infeld, piano makers like Bösendorfer, violin makers… There are so many special performance venues, from jazz clubs like Porgy & Bess to incredible concert halls. All of these elements come together to form a magnificent whole.” Aleksey Igudesman
“In Vienna you can find the very best in enjoyment as well as every kind of aesthetic. You can express yourself fully and authentically. When I lived in Vienna, I felt free. As if I could finally enjoy what life had to offer. People have a great sense of humor here.” Rebekka Bakken
“The musical expertise in Vienna is simply incredible. Many come to study at our brilliant conservatoires. Of course, you can split hairs about the technical aspects, but music is about the heart, the soul. You have to live here to internalize that.” Walter Werzowa
Text: Susanna Burger
There are even more cool stories, exciting interviews, and curious tales about Vienna in the new Vienna, Intl.