Coordinates: 48°12′02″N 16°22′20″E / 48.20056°N 16.37222°E / 48.20056; 16.37222
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Wiener Musikverein
View of the Musikverein from Karlsplatz
General information
TypeConcert hall
Architectural styleNeoclassical
Town or cityVienna
Coordinates48°12′02″N 16°22′20″E / 48.20056°N 16.37222°E / 48.20056; 16.37222
Current tenantsVienna Philharmonic
Inaugurated6 January 1870 (1870-01-06)
Design and construction
Architect(s)Theophil Hansen

The Wiener Musikverein (German: [ˌviːnɐ muˈziːkfɐ̯ˌaɪn] or German: [ˌviːnɐ muˈziːkfəˌʁaɪn]; German for 'Viennese Music Association'), commonly shortened to Musikverein, is a concert hall in Vienna, Austria, which is located in the Innere Stadt district. The building opened in 1870 and is the home of the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra.

The acoustics of the building's 'Great Hall' (Großer Saal) have earned it recognition alongside other prominent concert halls, such as the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Symphony Hall in Boston.[1] With the exception of Boston's Symphony Hall,[2][3] none of these halls was built in the modern era with the application of architectural acoustics, and all share a long, tall and narrow shoebox shape.


The Musikverein's front façade by night
The Great Hall, also known as the Golden Hall

The Musikverein's main entrance is situated on Musikvereinsplatz, between Karlsplatz and Bösendorferstraße [de]. The building is located behind the Hotel Imperial that fronts on Kärntner Ring, which is part of the Vienna Ring Road (Ringstraße). It was erected as the new concert hall run by the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna, 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 and a smaller chamber music hall. The building was inaugurated on 6 January 1870.[4] A major donor was Nikolaus Dumba, an industrialist and liberal politician of Aromanian Greek - Albanian (Voskopoja) descent, whose name was given by the Austrian government to a small street (Dumbastraße [de]) near the Musikverein.

The Great Hall (Großer Musikvereinssaal), also called the Golden Hall (Goldener Saal), 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 Scandal Concert of 1913 was given there, and it is the venue for the annual Vienna New Year's Concert.

The Great Hall's 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 Great Hall originally included a historic pipe organ built by Friedrich Ladegast. Its first organ recital was held by Anton Bruckner in 1872. The present-day instrument was originally installed in 1907 by the Austrian firm of Rieger Orgelbau, highly esteemed by musicians such as Franz Schmidt or Marcel Dupré, and rebuilt in 2011.

In 2001, a renovation program began. Several new rehearsal halls were installed in the basement.


Venue Size Height Seats
Großer Musikvereinssaal (Goldener Saal) 48.8 × 19.1 m 17.75 m 1744 seats and c. 300 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 (not used for concerts) 11.5 × 7.5 m 3.4m 60 seats

The names of the six halls refer to gold, Johannes Brahms, glass, metal, stone and wood respectively.


  1. ^ Long, Marshall, "What is So Special About Shoebox Halls? Envelopment, Envelopment, Envelopment", Acoustics Today, April 2009, pp. 21–25.
  2. ^ "The History of Symphony Hall". Boston Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  3. ^ Gerrit Petersen; Steven Ledbetter & Kimberly Alexander Shilland (26 June 1998). "National Historic Landmark Nomination: Symphony Hall [Boston]" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 12 April 2020.[page needed]
  4. ^ "Großer Musikvereinssaal". Wiener Musikverein. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.

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