L–r: Dr Stefan Schmidl;
Aileen; and Roxana.
Music in general brings a lot of people to the city, says
Schmidl. “It is a major factor for tourism … I think that
classical music is the first or second attraction in terms
Being a centre of musical excellence also improves
the mental quality of life for locals, he agrees.
Vienna’s musical identity is starting to move beyond just
its trademark style of music, even though it still remains
a leader of classical music, according to Schmidl.
He adds the classical trademark is sort of museum-
like today. “Classical music is of course very strong here
— you have the universities for music and so on — but in
everyday life classical music has no place.”
As the typical classical concert-goers age, and with-
out these numbers being replaced by young people
with the same enthusiasm for classical music, the situ-
ation may change very much in 20 or 30 years, Schmidl
“Of course, you have events like the New Year’s con-
cert, which is a global aspect, but in everyday life clas-
sical music does not play the role it played in the 19
However, a strong electronic scene has been rising
up since the 1980s and other modern forms of music.
There is still a strong musical scene in Vienna aside from
classical music, he contests.
“I think it is necessary to reformulate this trademark
of the music city and broaden it to include electronic or
other music, not only concentrate on the Mozart cliché,”
Schmidl adds that there needs to be tourism strat-
egies with new formulations of this trademark. There is
enough money to establish and keep this cliché alive but
it will be necessary to find a new formula in the coming
years. This has to do more with creativity than politics,
so artists should be supported in this endeavour.
New Year’s Concert
The New Year’s concert is world famous — seen by bil-
lions, according to Schmidl. “And it is the opportunity
to sell the trademark of the music city, Vienna. You can
not have a better advertisement than the New Year’s
OPEC bulletin 5–7/17