Music in Vienna: Six of the best musical attractions

HOFBURG PALACE

You could probably skip the predictable tedium of the baroque state apartments in this vast imperial palace and make a beeline to the historical instrument collection, which educates you on the evolution of musical instruments. Elegantly inlaid and decorated renaissance and baroque clavichords and lutes are marvellous, and you can admire pianos connected to Schubert, Brahms, Liszt and Mahler. You can play some replica instruments too. Meanwhile the palace hosts regular classical concerts and the dancing horses of the Spanish Riding School. The ethereal Vienna Boys Choir, founded in 1498, sings in the Hofburg Chapel. See wien.info

MOZART APARTMENT

Vienna, Austria - October 2021: Mozart house (haus) in Vienna
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Mozart lived in 11 different places in Vienna but was perhaps happiest at 5 Domgasse just behind the cathedral, where he wrote The Marriage of Figaro and indulged in chamber music with his friend Haydn. Not much is original and the period furniture seems too fancy for Mozart's budget, but digital harpsichords and headphones allow you to listen to his classics as you gaze up at the baroque ceiling of the maestro's bedroom. Exhibits focus mainly on Mozart's operas and the Vienna of his times. Elsewhere in the city, you can visit the residences of Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn and Strauss. See wienmuseum.at

STADTPARK

Monument to famous composer Johann Strauss in Stadtpark in spring, Vienna, Austria
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This shady city-centre oasis of lawns, flowerbeds and stands of trees provides relaxation after an overdose of history and culture, but music lovers will be further gladdened by its collection of statues and busts. The most eye-catching is a gilded statue of Johann Strauss the Younger playing his fiddle under a frothy stone arch, but the observant will also find Schubert lurking under a tree, a grimacing bust of Lehar, and several more. Meanwhile the Kursalon, an opulent former spa pavilion, hosts frivolous but entertaining Strauss and Mozart concerts for those who favour classical music lite. See wien.gv.at; kursalonwien.at

STATE OPERA

Festive city landscape - view of the Vienna State Opera on Christmas eve, Austria, 2 December, 2019
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Bring some formal wear (the Viennese are dressy) for a night out at this sumptuous neo-Renaissance opera house rich in cornices, gilt and red carpets, and hung with tapestries depicting scenes from The Magic Flute. It runs the world's largest repertoire of opera and ballet with a particular emphasis on Mozart, Wagner and 20th-century operas, and all of it is first-class. You can also take guided tours which focus on the architecture. The opera house's famously cheap standing tickets have been suspended due to COVID regulations but seating is offered instead at the usual bargain price of 10 euros. See wiener-staatsoper.at

HAUS DER MUSIK

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This sound and music museum is a delight for its playful, interactive but educational exhibits that allow visitors to experiment with sound morphing, create a waltz by shaking dice, have their names inserted into a "Mozart" composition, and conduct a virtual philharmonic orchestra. The kids will love it, but the Haus is informative too. It covers the lives of seven great composers, introduces musical concepts, and draws connections between music styles and historical periods. A section devoted to the story of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is housed in the apartment of its founder Otto Nicolai. See hausdermusik.com

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CENTRAL CEMETERY

Beautiful church of the Central cemetery in Vienna in autum, Austria
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The Zentralfriedhof is the last resting place of some three million people, including not a few decomposing composers such as Beethoven, Brahms, Gluck, Salieri, the Strausses and (bagging the prettiest plot of the lot) Schubert. Mozart gets a memorial, though he was tipped into a pauper's grave elsewhere. You have plenty of other reasons to visit this sprawling, leafy cemetery used by the Viennese for jogging and cycling, including fabulous architecture (Art Nouveau church, mad Arabian-style crematorium) and sumptuous tombs. The fascinating Funeral Museum will delight the creepy, while a horse-and-carriage ride proves that romance never dies. See wien.info

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