Christmas illuminations at Wiener Graben
© WienTourismus/Peter Rigaud

Musical Advent

Program changes possible due to COVID-19 – see websites of the organizers and the prescribed measures. From November 17 to December 6, 2020 Austria is in lockdown.

The Wiener Konzerthaus stands for variety – which is also reflected during Advent. 

The traditional gala Christmas in Vienna with its star-studded line-up is normally held here every year as a highlight. The live concert will have to be canceled this year, but there will be a Christmas in Vienna TV Special with top-class artists at 10.30 pm on December 21 on ORF 2 and on December 24 in the early evening program of ARTE.

Variety at the Konzerthaus

  • Singer and pianist Chilly Gonzales resides somewhere on the boundary between "crazy entertainer" and musical genius. Together with Stella Le Page on the cello and Joe Flory on the drums, there's A Very Chilly Christmas at the Konzerthaus (December 6).
  • Christmas with Jonas Kaufmann addresses fans of classical music: the famous tenor is accompanied by the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz (December 8).
  • He reads again: at the Evening in Advent with Peter Simonischek, the listeners are time travelers. Simonischek brings stories from olden times, prose and lyrics in dialect. Secret highlight of the evening: the "Russ". Musical accompaniment!
  • The Christmas Concert of the Wiener Symphoniker – with the Wiener Singakademie and vocal soloists – includes Georg Friedrich Handel's oratorio "The Messiah" (December 11).
  • The Gerhard Aflenzer Broadway Big Band and special guests Tini Kainrath put the audience in a pre-Christmas mood with their program Swinging Christmas. From White Christmas to Last Christmas (December 18).
  • Die Seer put on a pre-Christmas Stad tour (December 19). "Stad", on the one hand that stands for the arrangements – you'll hear how well the eight musicians sing – and on the other for the program's composition.
  • And the Bolschoi Don Kosaken give their annual Christmas concert: the male voice choir presents Russian sacred songs, fold songs (Kalinka) and international Christmas songs, plus fiery dance interludes and multimedia elements (December 23).

Concert calendar / Wiener Konzerthaus

Advent at the Musikverein

  • The Federspiel brass ensemble dedicates itself to the motto Of the slow time in the modern Glass Hall together with the Academy Singers (December 3 and 4).
  • The Donauphilharmonie lets Christmas sounds ring out at Christmas in the Vienna Musikverein (The Nutcracker, Adeste fideles, Silent Night …; December 18).
  • And Christmas with Vienna Imperial Philharmonics spans a Christmassy arc of sound from Vienna to Hollywood (December 22).

Concert calendar / Musikverein

Sounds of trumpets

Treasures of the Viennese classical period and traditional Christmas songs sound particularly festive when played on brass instruments. Such as at Trumpets in Concert - A Very Special Christmas in the Minoriten Church (December 16, 18 & 19).

St. Anne's Church, a Baroque jewel in the city center, opens its doors again for the Advent concert series Magic Trumpets in Advent (Fr, Sa, Su, November 27 - December 20 and December 8).

Bach, Mozart, Handel and others are also interpreted with trumpet and organ during Christmas Trumpet in the Maltese Church (November 28 - December 30).

More church concerts

On the weekends in Advent, the Capuchin Church also invites you to Advent concerts from Friday to Sunday (November 27 – December 20). The Wiener Kaiserquartett and solo singing as well as a program of the most beautiful Christmas songs and festive music will get you in the mood for Christmas.

And in Vienna's most famous church, St. Stephen's Cathedral, the musicians of the Harmonia Ensemble Wien perform a reflective gathering in a chamber music formation with soprano and baritone solos (Thu-Sat, November 26 - December 23). 

On Advent Sundays (6th, 13th, 20th December) the giant organ resounds in St. Stephen's Cathedral: powerful sounds from more than 12,500 pipes fill the church interior. The program of the organ concerts during Advent ranges from Bach to Franck and the most famous Advent songs. The console is centrally located in the nave: a clear view of the organist playing the five manuals and the pedals with virtuosity.

Choral singing & Viennese Christmas

Great emphasis is placed on singing in the world's capital of music. The Vienna Boys' Choir performs the Advent concert series Good Shepherds in its acoustically brilliant MuTh Concert Hall (December 8-12). On the program: Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" and "Silent Night".

In the Orangery of Schönbrunn Palace, the Viennese Christmas takes visitors on a musical journey through classic Christmas melodies and forgotten Advent songs. All served up with mulled wine and lemonade (November 21 - December 26, We, Fr, Sa; also December 24).

Gospel power

  • There's a Gospel Christmas with Dennis Jale and The Imperials on December 8 at the Minoriten Church.
  • The full voices of The Christmas Gospel ensemble ring out in the Karlskirche (Church of St. Charles) with feeling and temperament as they sing classics such as "Oh Happy Day" and "Amazing Grace" as well as modern soul ballads (December 5, 11, 12, 18, 19).
  • Gospel fans take note: Stella Jones and her group of artists give their American Christmas Gospel Concerts in the Votive Church (December 11, 12, 18).

Shows at the Stadthalle

  • Angelo Kelly & family celebrate an Irish Christmas on a grand scale at the Wiener Stadthalle (December 4).
  • Christmas Chaos is the order of the day when Rea Garvey, Sasha and Michael Mittermeier invite you to their very personal Christmas party: a mix of songs and comedy (December 11 and 12).
  • Pretty good friends ... celebrate Christmas: in this program, the two stars of the musicals, Mark Seibert and Lukas Perman, treat the audience to Christmas melodies. And a few musical hits, of course (December 22).

A bit different

Wienerlied - Und? The musical Advent calendar 2020 is an exciting, typically Viennese affair: from December 1 to 23, a door opens each evening in one of Vienna's 23 districts – for a concert! Music of every genre is played in inns, clubs and theaters. The program is as follows: on December 1 in the 1st district, on December 2 in the 2nd district, and so on.

Show entertainment of a high standard as well as current best-of programs characterize the festival Wintertainment 2020. Music, theater, cabaret, variety and comedy combine to create a varied series of offerings. Christmas elements are included – but discreetly and without the kitsch. If you're looking for alternative programs to traditional Advent concerts, then head to the Theater am Spittelberg (December 1-22).

The Christkind can listen along: Slavko Ninic and the Wiener Tschuschenkapelle give a Christmas Special on Christmas Eve itself in the Porgy & Bess jazz club. The band is a fixed feature of the Austrian music landscape, famous for exuberant concerts and musical originality. Its repertoire: traditional and self-composed songs of the Balkan countries, from the Mediterranean and Orient, from Russia, with a touch of Wienerlied and echoes of gypsy jazz. Live-streaming from 9.00 pm!

More Advent concerts updated on a daily basis

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