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L–r: Dr Stefan Schmidl;

Maureen MacNeill;

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

of tourism.”

Being a centre of musical excellence also improves

the mental quality of life for locals, he agrees.

Changing trademark

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,”

he asserts.

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