Events4Scholars: 2nd Virtual Walking Tour: Vienna - A Musical Journey

28. February 2022 ScholarsForscher/innen
Fotocollage des Stadtrundgange von Wien mit Bildern von Wien und der Führerin Angelika Kronberger
The OeAD organised a second virtual walking tour for scholarship recipients to explore famous places in Vienna.

Keeping up with scholarship recipients and offering them a chance to get to know each other during these times is challenging. Therefore, the OeAD team regularly comes up with fun and interesting activities to help students connect. Following the 1st Virtual Walking Tour in April 2021, which introduced Vienna in a nutshell, the OeAD organized a second virtual walking tour with Angelika Kronberger on February 17, 2022, to explore famous places in Vienna that inspired great composers during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This time, the event has been organized together with the EURAXESS Austria team within the OeAD.

Over 200 current, former, and future scholarship holders and members from the Euraxess Network from 60 different countries registered for the event. At the event about 90 people actively participated, with most of them coming from Europe, a number of those even residing in Vienna right now. To break the ice and find out how musical the group was, a short warm-up activity cleared up whether participants could sing or play an instrument. Quite a few are playing traditional instruments from their home country, the clarinette, the piano, the harp, or the guitar. A professional opera singer and architect even joined from Croatia.

Starting the tour from Vienna University at the Liebenberg monument near Schottentor, our guide first showed the Pasqualithaus, where Beethoven lived for almost eight years and found inspiration for his most popular compositions like “Pour Elise” for solo piano, his only opera “Fidelio” and his 5th symphony.  Franz Schubert is said to have had romantic feelings for one of the three daughters living next door, which is merely a tale, but still interesting as he was a great admirer of Beethoven. Exploring the Street of the Lords (Herrengasse) with its Palais Ferstel, housing the famous Café Central, Angelika further introduced Palais Esterhazy, where she mentioned that Josef Haydn has served the family Esterhazy as musical director of the Esterhazy Orchestra. Near Saint Michael Square (Michaelerplatz), Frederic Chopin resided, though quite unhappily, for half a year. There is a beautiful Japanese style building today.  Next, at Hofburg Palace, Angelika informed us of the importance of music in the Habsburg family. As the Habsburgs also greatly enjoyed balls, Empress Maria Theresa had ordered the construction of a ball room here, where Viennese people learned to waltz.

To add the atmosphere, the OeAD team played famous pieces of the composers along the way. Accompanied by the Blue Danube Waltz, Angelika went on to show us a glimpse of the Vienna State Opera. Passing Mozarthaus, the walk ended at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where Mozart's coffin had been laid out in the Chapel of the Cross and the audience could hear a few bars of Mozart´s Requiem.

After the walk, participants were eager to take part in the online quiz with quite a few tricky questions about the tour to win a CD of the New Year’s Concert 2022.  We congratulate Ms. Stefkovicova from Slovakia for winning first place, Ms. Krastina from Belarus for winning second and Ms. González Gómez from Spain for winning third place.

They correctly answered questions like “Which young Austrian composer was one of the torch bearers at Beethoven´s funeral and died only one year after his idol?” Or “Which composition is considered as Austria´s secret national anthem?”
All in all, attendees were very satisfied with the event and found it to be a great way to explore Vienna. Though it was quite windy that day, Angelika managed to show everything and made people feel like they walked with her. When asked whether they would like to participate in similar events again, they universally agreed and suggested to show other cities of Austria in future virtual events and focus on architecture, monuments, painters, castles or the second world war.

We hope that all participants have had a wonderful experience and enjoyed the virtual tour!