Summer Music Festivals in Austria are a celebration of its music heritage and a major attraction for locals as well as tourists. Whether it’s in and around Vienna or out in the Tyrol region with performances out amongst the spectacular Austrian Alpine settings, music is definitely in the air in the summer time.
Here you’ll find world class performances celebrating; pre-classical, classical, modern music and performances.
Let’s start with Vienna. For five weeks during May and June in what is known as the Vienna Festival Weeks, you can experience over 200 performances of music, dance, theater and the visual arts. The festival includes concerts, drama and opera from the various ages and styles. The opening of the festival is a free opening concert held on Rathausplatz (Town Hall plaza).
The musical performances are divided into four categories; Classical, Modern, Jazz and World Music, as well as the performing arts presentations. The performances are held in various settings and locations in Vienna. This is certainly a celebration of Vienna’s musical heritage and standing in the world of classical music – a city known for its art, culture and music and home base for the likes of Johann Strauss, Mozart, Schubert and Ludwig van Beethoven.
The works of Joseph Haydn are on display and at the heart of the festival in Eisenstadt (Iron City), also known as the Haydn Festival. Eisenstadt is a quaint little town set on the southern slopes of the Leitha Mountains in the state of Burgenland at the Hungarian border, an area also well known for its tasty red wines. There’s also quite a uniqueness to the quaint town of Eisenstadt – the concerts are performed by the local towns people. In earlier days, Beethoven and others also made this one of their favorite places to hang out. If you’re in Vienna, this is a short distance away.
Also within easy reach of Vienna, is the late 19th century Schloss Grafenegg, which is the site of the yearly Schloss Grafenegg Music Festival. Every August, audiences flock to this beautiful setting amid a centuries-old castle and adjacent park to hear performances to the likes of the London Symphony Orchestra. The open air shell shaped stage was completed in 2007 and is supplemented with an Auditorium, which is used should the weather curtail the outdoors presentation.
Every year the picturesque town of Mörbisch, also in Burgenland, hosts the world’s greatest operetta festival, the Mörbish Festival on the Lake. Here you’ll be captivated by the classical operettas played out on its beautiful open air stage set within sight of the Neusiedler Lake (Neusiedlersee). Both the town and lake are a popular get-away for the Viennese. The town of St. Margarethen, in Burgenland with its 2,000 year old Roman sandstone quarry, serves as a backdrop to the Operafest St. Margarethen, an exciting summer festival, featuring popular operas and international stars on the largest natural stage in Europe. These festivals are certainly one of the major Vienna Tourist Attractions.
The Salzburg Music Festival, which features opera, concerts and drama, is frequently recognized as one of the outstanding classical music events in Europe each year. Originally known as the Mozart Festival, the Salzburg Music Festival enjoys a well deserved level of recognition, for it is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the city certainly pays many tributes to him. Encircled by the spectacular Tyrolean Alpine scenery, the Innsbruck Summer Festival, also known as the Early Music Festival, may seem like an unlikely place for a celebration of pre-Classical (Baroque) music but…it has been a hit for nearly 30 years. The town of Erl, also within Tyrol, puts on the Music Festival Erl, which features classical music performances in an open air stage set amongst spectacular scenery. Going a bit further west in the Austrian Alps, you can enjoy the Summer Festival at Lake Constance, also known as the “Bregenzer Festspiele”. This performing arts festival is held every July and August on Lake Constance in Bregenz and features opera and concert performances by the likes of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra on what is claimed to be the largest floating stage in the world. These concerts certainly fill the Austrian Alps in the Summer with music.
For many of the European vacationers alike, in the summer, all roads lead to Austria. So, it is well advised to make your travel arrangements well ahead of time, whether it’s for the Summer Music Festivals or other attractions in Austria.