Christmas in Austria

Christmas in Austria

Christmas in Austria
Staff

SALZBURG, Austria – A wide variety of holiday concerts are available to tourists

visiting Austria during the holiday season. This is to be expected in a land that gave

rise to the musical genius of Wolfgang Mozart, Anton Bruckner, Johann Strauss Sr.

and Jr. and Franz Schubert. Concert venues range from magnificent castles and

fortresses to cruise boats on the Danube and a tiny chapel along the Salzach River.

The hottest ticket in Salzburg is for “Salzburger Adventsingen,” a program of Advent

music and folk lore which began more than a half century ago. With close to 100,000

ticket requests each year, only 30,000 will be lucky enough to gain admission. Still,

there are dozens of other concerts to be heard each week during the Advent,

Christmas, and New Year season.

Some of the most delightful are the

candlelight concerts in the

Hohensalzburg Fortress overlooking

the city. If you´re lucky you may hear

the unusual “Concerto for Strings and

Alpenhorn” by Leopold Mozart,

Wolfgang´s father. Just be sure that you

are not sitting in the front row where

you will find several alpenhorns extending right off the stage. Other holiday

concerts are held at the Mozarteum, at the outdoor Christmas Market, and in various

churches and concert halls throughout the city.

Just outside Salzburg, on December 24, a torchlight and lantern procession will

move from the Franz Gruber School in Arnsdorf to the Silent Night Memorial Chapel

in Oberndorf. You can join the procession and even sing the carols with people from

all over the world who flock to the birthplace of the world´s best known Christmas

carol, “Silent Night.”

The Advent concert series in Innsbruck features groups of family singers and

instrumentalists similar to the Trapp Family Singers of “Sound of Music” fame. In

Austria, it´s not at all unusual to find families who play music, everything from

classical to folk melodies, in their leisure hours. When they come together in concert

at Innsbruck’s Congress Hall, it becomes a memorable occasion.

Meanwhile in Vienna, choirs from around the world present traditional and modern

Christmas songs and folk music in the ceremonial rooms of the Vienna City Hall on

weekends in November and December as part of a yearly international choral

festival.

The fact is, every village, every hamlet, and every city in Austria will be filled with

the glorious sounds of the holiday season throughout November and December. It is

truly the land of the “Sound of Music.”

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