Ute van der Sanden

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May 2019

Musikverein Brahms Hall

Wiener Musikverein

General information

Type: Concert hall

Architectural style Neoclassical

Town or city Vienna

Country Austria

Current tenants Vienna Philharmonic

Inaugurated 6 January 1870

The Wiener Musikverein, (German pronunciation: [ˌviːnɐ̯ muˌziːkfɛɐ̯ˈʔaɪ̯n]; Viennese Music Association), commonly shortened toMusikverein, is a concert hall in the Innere Stadt borough of Vienna, Austria. It is the home to the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra.

The "Great Hall or Glden Hall" (Großer Saal) due to its highly regarded acoustics is considered one of the finest concert halls in the world, along with Berlin's Konzerthaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Boston's Symphony Hall.

None of these halls was built in the modern era with the application of acoustics science and all share a long, tall, and narrow shoebox shape.



This building is located on Dumbastraße/Bösendorferstraße behind the Hotel Imperial near the Ringstraße boulevard and the Wien River, between Bösendorferstraße and Karlsplatz. However, since Bösendorferstraße is a relatively small street, the building is better known as being between Karlsplatz and Kärntner Ring (part of Ringstraße loop). It was erected as the new concert hall run by theGesellschaft der Musikfreunde, on a piece of land provided by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria in 1863. The plans were designed by Danish architect Theophil Hansen in the Neoclassical style of an ancient Greek temple, including a concert hall as well as a smallerchamber music hall. The building was inaugurated on 6 January, 1870.[2] A major donor was Nikolaus Dumba whose name the Austrian government gave to one of the streets surrounding the Musikverein.


Goldener Saal

The Großer Musikvereinssaal, or Goldener Saal (Golden Hall), is about 49 m (161 ft) long, 19 m (62 ft) wide, and 18 m (59 ft) high. It has 1,744 seats and standing room for 300. The Skandalkonzert of 1913 was given there, and it is the venue for the annual Vienna New Year's Concert. Its lively acoustics are primarily based on Hansen's intuition as he could not rely on any studies on architectural acoustics. The room's rectangular shape and proportions, its boxes and sculptures allow early and numerous sound reflections. The original equipment comprised a historic pipe organ built by Friedrich Ladegast, the first organ recital was held by Anton Bruckner in 1872. The present–day organ was originally installed by the Austrian firm Rieger Orgelbauin 1907, highly esteemed by musicians such as Franz Schmidt or Marcel Dupré, and rebuilt in 2011.


Since 2001, the building has been undergoing renovation, and several new rehearsal halls have been installed in the basement.


Venue Sizes: Height and Seats

Großer Musikvereinssaal (Goldener Saal) 48.8 × 19.1 m 17.75 m 1744 seats and ca. 300 for standing

Brahmssaal 32.5 × 10.3 m 11 m 600 seats

Gläserner Saal/Magna Auditorium 22 × 12.5 m 8 m 380 seats

Metallener Saal 10.5 × 10.8 m 3.2 m 70 seats

Steinerner Saal/Horst Haschek Auditorium 13 × ~8.6 m ~3.3m 60 seats

Hölzerner Saal 11.5 × 7.5 m 3.4m 60 seats

The names of the six halls stand for Golden, Johannes Brahms, Glass, Metal, Stone and Wooden Hall, respectively.

(c) Wolf Dietrer Grabner
© (c) Wolf Dietrer Grabner
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