The Wiener Symphoniker, one of Vienna’s best orchestras, are treating the Viennese and their guests to no less than two free open-air concerts in May. Both the Festival of Joy and the MuseumsQuartier Open Air are already regular fixtures on the annual concert calendar.
May 8: Festival of Joy
This year Heldenplatz hosts the seventh Festival of Joy: It marks the anniversary of the 1945 surrender by the Nazi regime. In addition to commemorating the day of liberation, the 2019 Festival of Joy is also dedicated to Europe and human rights.
The Wiener Symphoniker, led by Finnish conductor Eva Ollikainen, and Mauthausen Committee Austria invite guests to a concert to be held at Vienna's historic Heldenplatz. Host Katharina Stemberger leads through the program, which also includes speeches and the broadcast of video messages. The highlight of the ceremony will be a speech by concentration camp survivor Shaul Spielmann. Together with the audience, Conchita will sing the Ode to Joy.
The program spans a musical arc from the pre-war period to the horror of dictatorship and the joy unleashed by humanity's triumph.
- It begins with Ravel's symphonic poem La Valse, which was inspired by wistful memories of Vienna from the bygone era of the early 20th century.
- An excerpt from Shostakovich's unsettling Tenth Symphony attempts to convey the experience of oppression.
- Arvo Pärt's deeply spiritual Fratres with star violinist Pekka Kuusisto as the soloist and an arrangement of the Lied der Marietta for violin from Erich Wolfgang Korngold's opera Die tote Stadt, banned by the Nazis, evokes the ideals of peace and tolerance.
- The boisterous Rondo finale from Mahler's Fifth Symphony celebrates the end of barbarity.
- As in previous years, the Festival of Joy concludes with the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. This year, Conchita will perform it, with the public invited to join in.
Live TV broadcast on ORF III! The special broadcast of the "Festival of Joy" is now available on ORF's video-on-demand service: ORF TV-Thek
Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 19:30, free admission, rain or shine
May 31, MuseumsQuartier Open Air
By now a tradition, the Wiener Symphoniker will give another free open-air concert on Friday, May 31: The MuseumsQuartier's main courtyard will be transformed into Vienna's finest open-air concert hall. Conductor Speranza Scappucci leads a resounding program inspired by sunny Italy and Mediterranean passion, featuring works by Rossini, Verdi and Johann Strauss, among others.
Friday, May 31, 2019, 20:30, free admission
HeldenplatzHeldenplatz, 1010 Wien
MuseumsQuartier ViennaMuseumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien
- no steps
Parking spaces for people with disabilities
6 parking spaces within the MuseumsQuartier complex
- 4 Parking spaces for people with disabilities
- Seeing eye dogs allowed
- Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
Special offers for people with disabilities
Wheelchair service in the MQ-Point by the main entrance: daily 10 am – 7 pm free rental (form of ID left as a deposit). Inductive audio systems in the auditoriums (Hall E + G).
Seeing-eye dogs by prior arrangement with the respective cultural institutions.
Access to all MuseumsQuartier institutions: no steps. All public elevators are suitable for wheelchairs.
- Main entrance