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Date: February 6, 2014 | Contact: Sarah Hucal | Tel: 212-903-0746 | E-mail: [email protected]

Vienna’s Musical Giants: Treasures from the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde,
A Special Exhibit in Carnegie Hall’s Rose Museum,
Presented as Part of Citywide Vienna: City of Dreams Festival


Beginning in late February, Carnegie Hall will display an extraordinary selection of rare musical artifacts—put on view to the public for the first time in the United States—as part of its exhibit, Vienna’s Musical Giants: Treasures from the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. Vienna’s Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Society of the Friends of Music) has loaned 25 priceless original manuscripts and artifacts to Carnegie Hall’s Archives for this special exhibit, which will include autograph scores and personal items of composers who feature prominently in Vienna’s musical history, such as Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler, Mozart, and Johann and Richard Strauss, among others. The items on display reflect the musical works to be performed in coming weeks by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna State Opera, and other artists as part of Carnegie Hall’s citywide Vienna: City of Dreams festival. The exhibit will be on display in Carnegie Hall’s Rose Museum from Tuesday, February 25 to Monday, May 5, 2014. Admission is free.

The Carnegie Hall exhibit will feature musical manuscripts paired with every-day objects belonging to the composers, casting a light on the human element of these revered historical figures. The first sketch for Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from his Ninth Symphony (pictured above) is juxtaposed with the ailing composer’s medicine spoon, referencing the health problems that overshadowed the later life of this musical genius. A perfectly executed manuscript of Mozart’s Three Duos for Two Wind Instruments K. 487 / 1, 3, 6, includes a note written by the composer, explaining that the works were composed while playing skittles—a precursor to bowling. Other unique items include Richard Strauss’s lucky horse shoe, a ticket to a 1792 Haydn concert in London—numbered and signed in the composer’s own hand to keep track of box office receipts, and a poster advertising the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s inaugural concert on March 28, 1842.

Featuring prominently in the display will be hand-written music manuscripts, including the beginning of a third movement to Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony; Mahler’s handwritten score used to conduct the first performance of his Fourth Symphony; a leather-bound copy of Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony dedicated to a friend of the composer; sketches from Berg’s Wozzeck and a draft score of the composer’s Lyric Suite; as well as a piano transcription of the Blue Danube waltz written by Johann Strauss. Other composers represented with original items include Brahms, Schoenberg, and Webern. In addition, the exhibit will include images of Vienna that display the city’s development throughout the composers’ lives.

The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde was founded in Vienna in 1812 for the purpose of promoting music in every way possible. Its main goals were to present music events, establish a conservatory for the teaching of music, and collect a wide variety of materials related to music. The society became a center of musical Vienna with a distinguished membership; Schubert was a board member, Brahms was a director, and Mahler was a graduate of the conservatory. The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde built the Vienna Conservatory in 1819 and the magnificent Musikverein in 1869. The Musikverein’s stunning Golden Hall, known worldwide for its incredible acoustics, is home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The collections of the society’s archives and library extend from the 12th Century to the present, and include bequests from Carl Czerny and Johannes Brahms, items purchased after the deaths of Beethoven and Schubert, and by gifts from renowned personages such as Alma Mahler.

The Rose Museum is located on the second floor of New York’s Carnegie Hall (entrance at 154 West 57th Street). The museum is open daily from 11:00 AM-4:30PM. Admission is free. The Rose Museum is also open to ticketed patrons before concerts and during intermission for events taking place in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage.

Vienna: City of Dreams

From February 21 to March 16, 2014, Carnegie Hall presents Vienna: City of Dreams, a three-week citywide festival featuring more than 90 events at Carnegie Hall and 23 partner cultural organizations throughout New York City, all inviting audiences to discover the extraordinary artistic legacy of Vienna. The festival features symphonic and operatic masterpieces, chamber music, and lieder, as well as new sounds emerging from this historic cultural capital. In addition to music, Vienna: City of Dreams shines a spotlight on Vienna’s visual arts, film, architecture, politics, science, and history, creating an extensive look at a city that for centuries has drawn artists, dreamers, and innovators from all corners of the world to its dazzling intellectual and artistic life.

The centerpiece of Vienna: City of Dreams is seven concerts to launch and conclude the festival at Carnegie Hall by the renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera, led by esteemed conductors Franz Welser-Möst, Daniele Gatti, Andris Nelsons, and Zubin Mehta all in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. The residency includes concert performances of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and Richard Strauss’s Salome, marking only the second time in their history that the Viennese musicians have performed opera in concert at Carnegie Hall.

Vienna has long been known as a crucible for creativity and great artistic achievements, especially in the area of classical music, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera have both been at the center of the city’s artistic life since their inception. Concerts presented as part of Vienna: City of Dreams highlight the roles played by these unparalleled cultural institutions as well as Carnegie Hall’s longstanding partnership with the orchestra, which has appeared more than 100 times at the Hall since its 1956 debut—more than any other overseas ensemble.

The Vienna: City of Dreams celebration extends throughout New York City with festival events at leading cultural institutions, crossing arts disciplines to include music, film, visual arts, panel discussions, and even a Viennese Opera Ball, which launches the festival on February 21. For a complete list of partners and events, please click here for festival press kit.

Carnegie Hall has launched a special website, carnegiehall.org/vienna, which features information on festival events, interviews with artists, videos introducing the music being performed, and other content designed to illuminate Vienna: City of Dreams offerings. Once the festival begins, Carnegie Hall will also capture video of select Vienna: City of Dreams performances to be shared alongside this content on the website.

This exhibition is funded in part by the Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation.

Lead funding for Vienna: City of Dreams is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

Breguet is the Exclusive Timepiece of Carnegie Hall.

MasterCard is a Proud Supporter of Carnegie Hall.

United is the Official Airline of Carnegie Hall.

Image at top of release: First sketch of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, courtesy of Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde

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