Austria - education
The Austrian education system, which has many similarities with southern
Germany, still functioned in the year 2000, despite a number of recent reforms,
still within the framework of a law from 1962. There is a nine-year compulsory
education for 6-15-year-olds. The school system can be prepared in kindergarten
for 3-6 year olds; this is sought by 4 out of 5 children (1998).
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Schooling includes a public and free four-year Volksschule. Then
follows either the four-year Hauptschule, which is sought by
approximately 70%, or the eight-year Gymnasium, which for the first four
years is applied for by 30% and the last four by 24% (1998). After eight years
of teaching, it can also be completed with either a one-year Polytechnic
course or a up to five-year vocational education. Passed high school
diploma, Matura, provides access to university studies.
There are 13 universities and 6 academies in aesthetic subjects with
university status; the University of Vienna from 1365 is the oldest and with
86,000 students also the largest. Short and medium-term higher education is
offered at 23 specialized academies and from 1993 also at a number of private
vocational higher education institutions, so-called Fachhochschulen (1999).
OFFICIAL NAME: Austria
CAPITAL CITY: Vienna
POPULATION: 8,400,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 82,730 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): German
RELIGION: Catholics 78%, Protestants 5%, Muslims 2%, Eastern Orthodox 1%, others or
CURRENCY CODE: EUR
ENGLISH NAME: Austria
POPULATION COMPOSITION: Austrian nationals 90%, others (especially Turks, Germans and people from the
former Yugoslavia) 10%
GDP PER residents: $ 33,262 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 76 years, women 82 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.944
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 14
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .to
Austria, federal state in Central Europe, consisting of nine federal states
(states): Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Salzburg, Lower Austria, Upper
Austria, Vienna, Styria, Burgenland and Carinthia. The capital is Vienna. As
the center of the Habsburg Empire, Austria belonged to the great powers of
Europe from the Middle Ages until the First World War. The country became a
member of the EU in 1995.
Austria - Constitution
The Federal Republic of Austria's Constitution of 1920 was repealed in 1934
and reintroduced in 1945. According to the Constitution, Austria is a federal
state consisting of nine states or federal states (Länder) each with
its own parliament and government. The Federal President is the head of state
and is elected by direct election for a six-year term (re-election once is
possible). He appoints a chancellor to lead the government for a period not to
exceed four years. The legislative power at the federal level is divided by the
National Council, Nationalrat, with 183 members elected for four years
by direct election, and 64 representatives of the states in the Federal
Council, Bundesrat, elected by the state parliaments in relation to the
states' population and political composition. The two chambers sometimes meet
for joint discussion of particularly important matters and are then called the
Federal Assembly, the Bundesversammlung. Federal and provincial law is
divided according to the principle that most and most important matters are
handled by the federation, while all that is not expressly left to the
federation is state affairs. States shall, within their spheres of competence,
enter into agreements with other States or Länder.
The Constitution opens as an element of direct democracy to both popular
demands (Volksbegehren) for referendums and to referendums
(Volksabstimmungen). The former has been used numerous times, the latter only
two: 1978 on the commissioning of the Zwentendorf nuclear power plant (it was
rejected) and on accession to the EU in 1994 (it was approved).
In 1945-90, the political system was characterized by great political
stability, dominated by two parties, the Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the Austrian
People's Party (ÖVP), both with a strong foothold in professional and business
interest organizations. Since 1990, the Freedom Party (FPÖ) has taken votes from
both on an immigrant/asylum and EU-critical program and created a stir in both
domestic and foreign policy. The conclusion of the ÖVP-FPÖ governing coalition
in 2000 led the other EU countries to impose diplomatic sanctions on Austria due
to the FPÖ's participation; the sanctions were lifted before the end of the
Austria - social conditions
Austria's long tradition of broad social insurance for the population dates
back to the Accident Insurance Act of 1887. A coherent system of social
insurance schemes organized in self-governing state insurance institutions and
health insurance funds forms (2001) the core of the Austrian welfare state with
insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases as well as health,
pension and unemployment insurance. All self-employed persons, both employees
and the self-employed, are automatically members of the insurances except for
unemployment insurance, which only covers employees. The benefits are financed
by compulsory insurance premiums, which are paid by employers and employees in
the form of a percentage tax on business income, for most employees up to 32% of
The health insurance, which covers all working people and their
families, covers illness treatment by a general practitioner, specialist and
hospital. In addition, free prescription drugs, aids and home nursing are
provided; Sickness benefits are provided for both illness and maternity leave. The
accident insurance also provides compensation for loss of earning capacity.
The pension insurance pays labor market pensions from the age of 60
for women and the age of 65 for men with the option of a previous retirement age
for the long-term unemployed, for people with reduced working capacity and for
people with many years of membership in the pension insurance. The size of the
pension depends on the size and duration of the contributions and can reach 80%
of the business income in the best paid working years.
Unemployment insurance is mandatory for all employees; unemployment
benefits are granted for 20 weeks with the possibility of extension to 1 year in
connection with training and education. Elderly care is provided by the
individual Länder and includes home help and nursing home stays.
Austria - health conditions
Life expectancy for men has increased from 66.4 years in 1970 to 74.9 years
in 1998. For women, the corresponding figures are 73.4 and 81.1 years. In the
same period, infant mortality has fallen from 25.9 to 4.9 per 1000 live
births. The most common cause of death for both sexes is cardiovascular
disease. For men, there has been a sharp reduction from 684 deaths per 100,000
in 1970 to 434 deaths in 1998; the corresponding figures for women are resp. 477
and 284. Cancer is the second most common cause of death with a slightly
declining trend of 238 for men and 140 for women per. 100,000 in 1998.
In 1970, Austria spent 5.3% of GDP on health care. In 1997, the proportion
was 8.3%. The majority is covered through a compulsory health insurance system,
which covers approximately 99% of the population. The premium depends on the insured's
gross income; for employees, the payment is shared equally between the employee
and the employer. The number of hospital beds is declining, in 1997 to 9
per. 1000 residents, of which approximately 30% are in private hospitals. In 1998,
there were 3 doctors and 5.3 nurses per. 1000 residents
Austria - legal system
Austrian law belongs to the German legal family. The Austrian Civil Code,
the Allgemeines Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (ABGB), dates from 1811 and is
thus considerably older than the German BGB (see also Germany's legal system),
and does not have the BGB's rigorous and scientific structure. It contains some
instructive and descriptive provisions, including a provision that marriage
means that "two persons of different sexes legally declare that they will live
in an inseparable relationship, raise children and raise them and mutually help
each other". ABGB is affected in part by Roman law (gemeines Recht),
which previously applied in Austria, and in part by the Enlightenment natural
law. The provision in section 16 of the Act, "that every human being has innate
rights dictated by reason and is to be regarded as a person", was not
immediately implemented. It took most of the 1800's. to abolish the authoritarian
feudal society and state control over the economy. It was not until the 1970's
that husband and wife became equal in marriage. With changes in the Code and its
application in case law, German law has often been a model, and German and
Austrian jurisprudence are very closely linked.
Divorce is announced by judgment. This happens at the request of one spouse,
if the other is in serious breach of his or her marital duties to blame for the
breakdown of the marriage, or when the marriage is ruined due to one spouse's
serious chronic illness. The same applies where the spouses have not had a
domestic community for three years due to a disagreement, and a resumption of
cohabitation cannot be expected. Furthermore, a judgment is given for divorce,
where the parties together submit a request to this effect. In these cases,
which according to the statistics for the year 2000 amounted to approximately 9/10of
all divorces, it is required that each spouse declare that the marriage has
broken down and that an actual marital cohabitation has not lasted for six
months. In addition, they must prove to the court that they agree on how they
will arrange the minor joint children's affairs, one's possible maintenance
contribution to the other and the distribution of wealth.
Austria - military
The armed forces are (2006) 39,900 military with 20,600 conscripts with seven
months of basic training. In addition, 9500 civilians in the joint defense
support structure. The army (Bundesheer) is at 33,200 and the air
force (Österreichische Luftstreitkräfte) at 6700. The mechanized
units of the army forces are directly under the army's operational command, and
lighter units are divided into 8 territorial commands. The equipment is newer
western with a lot produced in the country.
The Air Force has 15 Eurofighter fighter jets, 17 transport aircraft, most of
which are light, and 79 helicopters, of which 9 are modern Sikorsky Black Hawk
As Austria is a landlocked country, it has no navy. However, the Army's
engineering troops have 2 light patrol boats for e.g. Danube, and the elite
unit JaKdo (Hunting Command) has frogmen.
Austria - Libraries and Archives
The Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, housed in the Vienna Hofburg, houses
approximately 3 mio. volumes (1999) and valuable special collections, a large
collection of papyrus; the magnificent book hall, Prunksaal, is built in baroque
style by JB Fischer von Erlach. The main university libraries are Vienna, Graz
and Innsbruck. Rich and also architecturally valuable are 1700's monastery
libraries, the Admont, Kremsmünster and Melk of the Benedictines and the
Saint Florian of the Augustinian choir masters. Public libraries are often run
under Catholic auspices.
The National Archives of Vienna, Österreichisches Staatsarchiv,
contains collections from the Middle Ages onwards, as well as material from the
central administration. The name of the institution dates from 1945; very large
collections from previous centuries are housed in the Habsburgs Haus-, Hof-
und Staatsarchiv, which now forms a special section of the archive. Like
many cities in Austria, individual federal states have their own archives.
Austria - mass media
In Austria, 17 dailies are published, which have a total daily circulation of
approximately 2.7 million. The largest newspapers are Neue Kronen-Zeitung with a
circulation of 852,000 (2005) and Kurier with approximately 260,000 (2005).
Both are published in Vienna and are partly owned by the German newspaper
group Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. The German Springer press has also
invested in the Austrian press. The former significant influence of party-owned
newspapers has diminished since the mid-1980's. Austria's print press receives
generous state aid.
Österreichischer Rundfunk, ORF, previously had a monopoly on the
electronic media in Austria. With a change in the law in 1993, it was allowed
for private individuals to broadcast radio locally and regionally, from 1998
also nationally. In 2000, Austria has a local, nine regional and three
nationwide radio channels as well as a shortwave service.
ORF tried to maintain the television monopoly, but the European Court of
Human Rights ruled in 1993 that ORF's monopoly restricted freedom of expression
and was contrary to the nature of the Convention on Human Rights. 10. ORF still
has two nationwide television channels, but Austria has several commercial cable
and satellite stations.
Austria - architecture
From the early Middle Ages it is first and foremost the church architecture
that is known.
From the Middle Ages to approximately 1850
From Carolingian and Roman times, a number of small, single-nave churches,
especially along the Danube, with Lombard and German style have been
preserved. From the 12th century there was a revival in the church and
monastery building with important centers in the bishoprics of Salzburg and
Brixen (Bressanone) in South Tyrol; monasteries were established in Melk,
Göttweig, Klosterneuburg, Heiligenkreuz and Zwettl.
From the 14th century, the Gothic became dominant, and it was expressed in a
number of hall churches such as St. Stephen's Cathedral, St. Maria am Gestade
and the Minoritenkirche, all in Vienna. The late Gothic period was marked by
the Cistercians, as seen in the abbey church of Zwettl near Linz.
Among the 15th-century profane architecture, the Bummerlhaus in Steyr, the
Kornmesserhaus in Bruck an der Mur and the Goldenes Dachl in Innsbruck can be
The Renaissance did not become widespread in Austria, while the Baroque,
which came from Italy, was exploited by Charles V and his successors in the
religious conflict between the Catholic Habsburgs and the Protestants. The
baroque was not fully realized until after the defeat of the Turks at the gates
of Vienna in 1683.
A number of Austrian architects gained pioneering importance for European
architecture in the 18th century, especially Johann Bernhard Fischer von
Erlach with buildings such as Schönbrunn, Hofbibliothek
and Karlskirche in Vienna, Johann Ludwig von Hildebrandt with
Schwarzenbergpalais and Belvedere, also in Vienna, as well as Jakob
Prandtauer with the monasteries of St. Florian at Linz and Melk. In contrast to
this pompous baroque stands the bourgeois, refined Biedermeier architecture of
the early 19th century.
From approximately 1850 to 2000
Historicism had excellent conditions in Vienna, the dual monarchy of
Austria-Hungary. It was particularly marked in the monumental buildings erected
in connection with the construction of the Ringstraße.
1871-76, the German architect Gottfried Semper was active in Vienna, where he
together with Karl von Hasenauer designed and built Burgtheater and Neue
Hofburg, inspired by Renaissance and Baroque.
The Danish-born Theophilus Hansen performed The parliament building in
classicist Greek style, Friedrich von Schmidt (1825-91) the neo-Gothic town hall
and Heinrich von Ferstel (1828-83) Votivkirche and the university.
Around 1900, Otto Wagner in Vienna cultivated both the decorative imagery of
the Art Nouveau style (including station buildings for the Stadtbahn) and its
more matter-of-fact and constructive form (Postsparkasse, 1904-06), thus
creating a break with historicism.
In the sign of the Art Nouveau style, his students Josef Hoffmann and Joseph
Maria Olbrich also worked. Adolf Loos and his purist architectural philosophy
paved the way for functionalism, which was further developed by Josef
Frank and Rudolph Schindler, who emigrated to the United States in 1914 and was
followed by Richard Neutra in 1923.
After World War II, the country's architectural center of gravity shifted
from Vienna to Linz, Innsbruck, and Graz.
Among newer architects are Gustav Peichl (1928-2019) with the
functionalist-designed studies for Österreichischer Rundfunk in several Austrian
cities (1980-83), Günther Domenig (1934-2012) with the sculptural monastery
school canteen in Graz (1977), Hans Hollein with it postmodernist Haas-Haus in
Vienna (1987-90) as well as Wilhelm Holzbauer (1930-2019), Adolf Krischanitz (b.
1945) and the architectural firm Coop Himmelblau (formed 1968).
The painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser also became involved in architecture
and in 1986 built the Hundertwasser Haus residential building in Vienna. See
Austria - visual art
Romanesque mural and facade sculpture from the 1000-1200's are preserved in
the cathedral of Gurk in Carinthia; a major work in the art of enamel
is Nicolaus from Verdun's Verdun altar from 1181 in the
Augustinian chorister Klosterneuburg near Vienna.
From the Middle Ages to approximately 1850
During the period, book painting also flourished at the monasteries in
Salzburg, for example. The Gothic period reached Austria late; the sculpture
shows French influence, in a series of Madonna representations, performed
in the so-called "beautiful style" cultivated in the 14th century, especially in
Vienna, Klosterneuburg and Wiener Neustadt.
In Carinthia and Tyrol, murals have been preserved and in Vienna examples of
extensive production of stained glass. From the 14th century, an independent
painting was developed, among other things. in Klosterneuburg, which has
preserved one of the first monumental picture series, a passion series from
Of the 15th century large late Gothic altarpieces are preserved the wing
altar from Kefermarkt as well as the altar in the pilgrimage church Sankt
Wolfgang (1479-81) made by the Tyrolean Michael Pacher.
Among the foreign artists who worked in Austria were the late Gothic
sculptors Nicolaus Gerhaert from the Netherlands (mid-15th century) and Anton
Pilgram from Moravia, who worked at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna in
In the 15th century, extensive monastic reforms were introduced, which
originated from the Benedictine monastery in Melk, which established a
close collaboration with humanists at the University of Vienna. This influenced
the expression of the visual arts and resulted in an iconographic renewal, as
seen by a number of southern German artists who worked in Austria, among
others. Jörg Breu from Augsburg and Rueland Frueauf dy (approximately 1470-1547) from
Also Lucas Cranach, Albrecht Altdorfer and Wolfgang Huber performed
significant work in Austria. Within the sculpture, the monumental tomb
of Emperor Maximilian I in the Hofkirche in Innsbruck is a highlight.
Italian and Dutch painting dominated the second half of the 16th century. It
was not until the Baroque in the 18th century that Austria made a name for
itself on the European art scene.
In connection with architecture, a rich art of painting and sculpture was
developed with names such as Johann Michael Rottmayr (1654-1730), who painted
frescoes in Karlskirche in Vienna and the abbey church in Melk, the
sculptor Georg Raphael Donner (1693-1741) as well as the painters Daniel Gran
(1694-1757), Paul Troger (1698-1768) and Franz Anton Maulbertsch, who decorated
numerous churches, monasteries and castles.
In the first half of the 19th century, a bourgeois Biedermeier style was
cultivated by the painters Heinrich Friedrich Füger (1751-1818) and Ferdinand
Georg aldmüller, who performed idylls, landscapes and portraits, while
Romanticism is represented by Moritz von Schwind.
From approximately 1850 to 2000
In the second half of the 19th century, Richard von Alt painted
topographically emphasized cityscapes, while the genre and history painter Anton
Romako in color attitude and temperament anticipated expressionism.
Hans Makart occupied an important place in the 1870's and 1880's with his
mighty neo-baroque compositions. On the whole, the Biedermeier art had an
unusually long life in Austria. An innovative modern expression did not appear
until 1897 with the formation of the artist group Sezession in Vienna with
Gustav Klimt and Koloman Moser.
The dominant style was the Art Nouveau style, which spread through the
journal Ver Sacrum 1898-1903. The breakthrough had a major impact on Egon
Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka, who later became the most important
representatives of Expressionism.
The secession movement dealt with architecture and handicrafts as much as
with painting and sculpture; from its members also emanated a significant
graphic production. The painter Richard Gerstl (1883-1908) appeared before his
suicide as a promising expressionist and gained significance for the
composer Arnold Schönberg's visionary expressive paintings from the period
1906-12. Klimt, Schiele and Moser died in 1918, and Kokoschka moved to Dresden,
after which an artistic period of stagnation occurred.
After World War II, the painter Albert Paris von Gütersloh (1887-1973) became
the focal point of the so - called Viennese school's fantastic realism. At the
same time, an internationally oriented abstract art was developed, whose most
important representatives were Maria Lassnig (1919-2014), Wolfgang Hollegha (b.
1929), Josef Mikl (1929-2008) and Markus Prachensky (1932-2011). A loner
was Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who worked in an Art Nouveau-inspired
decorative form, which he later transferred to architecture. Within the
sculpture, Anton Hanak (1875-1934) and Fritz Wotruba were pioneers.
With Wiener Aktionismus (Hermann Nitsch, Rudolf Schwarzkogler (1940-1969),
Günter Brus (b. 1938), Otto Muehl (1925-2013)) a ritual action art emerged
in the 1960's, which used orgiastic action games, Orgien-Mysterien
-Theater that at times tended to self-destruction.
In the same spirit, Arnulf Rainer has developed an original body art, Valie
Export (b. 1940) has performed with performance, video and film, while
Friederike Pezold (b. 1945) in the 1970's developed a new sign language using
drawing, photography and video. A multimedia and computer-assisted art movement
is practiced by Rudolf Macher (b. 1960).
Austria - crafts and design
In Austria, handicrafts as well as visual arts and architecture have
developed in interaction with especially German, Slavic and Italian art. In the
16th and 17th centuries, Salzburg and its environs were a center of handicrafts
with a heyday for intarsia decorations on furniture and in interiors and for
richly ornamented church silver, weapons and armor.
In the 18th century, Vienna became artistically dominant, and stucco work and
panel works were carried out for e.g. the castles Schönbrunn and Oberes
Belvedere, as well as silk weaving, silk and gold embroidery became specialties
for the city. In 1717 a porcelain manufacture was founded (see Viennese
Most important, however, was Austrian design in the period around the year
1900 with a modern breakthrough for form simplicity and new materials that have
been important for international design development to this day. The renewal was
announced as early as around 1850 with Josef Danhauser's (d. 1830) Biedermeier
furniture, August Kitschildt's metal furniture and Michael Thonet's furniture in
laminated, molded wood.
The new style was shaped by the leading figures of the Secession such as Otto
Wagner, Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser and Carl Otto Czeschka (1878-1960), who
both designed and manufactured furniture, graphics, metalwork, ceramics and
textiles in the Wiener Werkstätte 1903-32; glass was produced by J. & L. Lobmeyr
(grdl. 1823) and Johann Loetz (grdl. 1836). A special position was occupied
by Adolf Loos, whose pure design anticipated functionalism.
After World War II, Austria has once again gained international recognition
with the design of e.g. Hans Hollein, Hermann Czech (b. 1936), Friedensreich
Hundertwasser, Robert M. Stieg and the Italian Matteo Thun (b. 1952).
Austria - literature
The Habsburg Empire included many peoples, but when talking about Austrian
literature, today only the German-speaking one is thought of.
In the Middle Ages, literature was regionally influenced; the duke's court in
Vienna was thus the center of memorial service. In the middle of the 1500's. the
Jesuits began to develop their Latin theater, which a century later helped to
shape the Baroque culture of the Habsburg Empire with its operas and folk
Since the Counter-Reformation and the Baroque period, literature gradually
developed an Austrian distinctiveness that distinguishes it from German
literature. The Catholic ideal of an beyond world order lived on; the
all-encompassing bureaucracy promoted a (partly self-ironic) resignation or
provocation, but it also formed, from the reforms of Joseph II, the breeding
ground for a liberal critique of society. The popular part of the literature
expressed itself in irony or sentimentality or in hometown nostalgia.
In the 1800's. Franz Grillparzer and Adalbert Stifter stood for the resigning
direction, Ferdinand Raimund (1790-1836) and Johann Nestroy for the popular
comedy, Peter Rosegger for the hometown literature and Ludwig Anzengruber for
the liberal critique.
An answer to the crisis of liberalism at the end of the century was Das Junge
Wien (Arthur Schnitzler, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and others). The author group's
psychological self-reflection and language skepticism became from then on an
Austrian hallmark. Karl Kraus continued the liberal critique into the 1900's.
Around and after World War I, there was an intense search for another
reality beyond a bureaucratic society (Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, Franz
Werfel), a threatening world (Georg Trakl, Ödön von Horváth, Stefan Zweig)
or a fascist hometown (Hermann Broch).
As recently as after World War II, Heimito von Doderer, albeit in
self-ironic chancellor style, described the dual unity of the Austro-Hungarian
monarchy as a continuing reality.
After Nazism, which divided the authors into collaborators and
emigrants, Ilse Aichinger has expressed the hope of a different reality for the
victims of Nazism, while Ingeborg Bachmann's authorship is a search for absolute
love as the real reality behind a violent world.
Through happenings and "concrete poetry", the artists' association Wiener
Gruppe has played with language (Friedrich Achleitner (b. 1930), Hans Carl
Artmann and others), followed by Ernst Jandl's language-ironic poems
and Friederike Mayröcker's associative texts.
Thomas Bernhard, Peter Handke and Elfriede Jelinek associate both
provocation and resignation with a great linguistic sensitivity.
Prominent younger names are the novelist and essayist Robert Menasse (b.
1954) and Karl-Markus Gauss (b. 1954), who in his essay writing have mainly
dealt with the overlooked sides of Europe.
Austria - music
Austria's musical development began in the 8th century with the founding of
monasteries in Salzburg, Kremsmünster, Michaelbeuern. For centuries, music
in churches and monasteries served primarily to preserve and convey the
unanimous Roman hymn, while spiritual music experienced a somewhat greater
independence outside the church; since the Middle Ages, for example, there is
evidence of church singing in the mother tongue, of religious dramas (Easter
plays in Klosterneuburg and Erlau) and of rhyming officers and hymns.
The memorial song was given a prominent representative in Walther von der
Vogelweide, who worked in Vienna around 1190, while Neidhart von
Reuental continued the tradition in Styria. Oswald von Wolkenstein and "Munken
(Hermann) af Salzburg" stood in the 14th century as exponents of a later
polyphonic memorial song.
The invention of the harpsichord some years before 1400 is attributed to the
Viennese Hermann Poll. Medieval musical manuscripts written between 1450 and
1473 testify to Austria's connection with the international repertoire of the
time, and at Emperor Maximilian I's chapel in Vienna from the end of the 15th
century, among other things. the organist and composer Paul Hofhaimer, whose
collection of four-part vocal movements, Harmonia Poëtica (1539),
also contains compositions by Ludwig Senfl.
Within secular instrumental music, the lute playing dominated; Hans
Judenkunig's (approximately 1450-1526) pieces for lye are among the earliest sheet music
(approximately 1515) in Vienna. Under humanism in the 16th century, the ode was
cultivated, in which ancient poets and new antiquated texts were exposed in
four-part, homophonic movements with musical reproduction of the ancient
verses. Hofhaimer and Senfl in particular contributed to the genre, which spread
as a school song.
Italian music reached Austria in the early 17th century with opera
performances in Salzburg (1614), Innsbruck (1622) and Vienna (1631). Until the
end of the century, the genre was dominated by Italian composers, and it was not
until around 1700 that Johann Joseph Fux, next to Antonio Caldara, the main
character of the time, began a domestic production of opera seria.
Austrian church music was also influenced by Italian taste; for example, the
Venetian multi-choir technique gained ground, just as the oratorio became a
favorite genre. A special type, sepulchrum, was created by Viennese
court composers for the purpose of celebrating the Holy Sepulcher during the
quiet week; the genre remained in use up through the 18th century.
Instrumental music developed rapidly and gained independence alongside dance
and church music. Paul Peuerl (1570-after 1625) created some of the oldest known
variation suites, while Johann Jacob Froberger in his harpsichord suites
established the batch sequence allemande-courante-sarabande-gigue.
Composers who contributed to the development of violin music were Johann
Heinrich Schmelzer (approximately 1623-80) and Heinrich von Biber (1644-1704). Georg
Muffat, who had studied in Paris and Rome, was the first to publish concerti
grossi (1682), while his son Gottlieb wrote exclusively for key instruments.
In parallel with the Mannheim School's orchestral music, a symphony appeared
in Austria represented by Matthias Georg Monn, Georg Christoph
Wagenseil and Joseph Starzer (1626/27-87), who recorded features from simpler
forms such as divertimento and serenade.
This development took place after the death of Charles VI (1740) in the noble
music chapels, which later came to represent a significant part of the music
culture (see Viennese classical). Based on this style, Joseph
Haydn developed the classical string quartet and the early classical symphony
during his employment with the Hungarian princely family Eszterházy, as many
contemporary composers (including Leopold Mozart, Carl Ditters von
Dittersdorf, Florian Leopold Gassmann, Johan Georg Albrechtsberger, Ignaz
Pleyel) built on. The style culminated in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the
early Ludwig van Beethoven, which from resp. 1781 and 1792 lived as independent
composers in Vienna.
After Empress Maria Theresa's reduction of court music, the opera was sought
to be continued with performances by e.g. traveling Italian opera troupes. The
German Christoph Willibald Gluck, from 1752 living in Vienna, not only gained
importance by composing in the mainstream genres (opera seria, opéra comique),
but also aimed in his reform operas to liberate the opera series from its
The Viennese singing play, which has its roots in folk comedies with musical
elements, developed after 1760 under the influence of opera buffa and opéra
comique, and with the elevation of the Burgtheater in Vienna to the German
National Theater, Emperor Joseph II sought to promote the genre crowned by WA
Mozart's Magic Flute (1791). The popular German singing game (by Ignaz
Umlauff (1746-96), von Dittersdorf, Wenzel Müller (1767-1835) and Joseph Weigl
(1766-1846), among others, was performed especially at the suburban theaters of
The German-born Ludwig van Beethoven achieved great success with the works
with which he paid tribute to the Congress of Vienna (the orchestral work Wellington's
Sieg and the cantata Der Glorreiche Augenblick). During
Metternich's strict regime (1815-48), the enlightened bourgeoisie reacted with
resignation, and in the context of the introverted lifestyle that can be
summarized under the terms Biedermeier or Vormärz, music came to play a
significant role as a means of identification. Unlike Beethoven, who was
supported by the aristocracy, Franz Schubert traveled throughout his life in
bourgeois circles, and it was with these in mind that he composed his
many songs., just as the small forms of piano music (nocturne, impromptu,
mazurka) were created for this forum.
Another offshoot of Biedermeier was the Viennese waltz, which originated in
various rural dance types (ländler, steirer, deutscher) and through composers
such as Joseph Lanner and the waltz dynasty Strauß became widespread to concert
and ballrooms worldwide.
Later in the century, Johann Strauss' Viennese operettas (including Die
Fledermaus (The Bat, 1874) and Der Zigeunerbaron (1885))
became stylistic for the following generations of operetta composers (Franz
Lehár, Emmerich Kálmán).
The interest in orally handed down folk music in Austria was given the
special characteristic that groups of singers (Tyrolean singers, alpine singers)
went on tours both at home and abroad with a repertoire of folk music (including
Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (founded 1814) was one of the leading
institutions in Vienna's concert life and became in the first half of the
1800's. model for music associations in Innsbruck, Graz, Linz, Klagenfurt and
several other cities. In Salzburg, the Mozarteum was founded in 1841,
which in 1842 held the first Mozart festival. In the second half of the 19th
century, by virtue of its opera, Graz was a leader among the provincial
cities. Austria's reputation in the field of instrumental music and song was
defended in the second half of the 19th century by the German - born Johannes
Brahms, Anton Bruckner and Hugo Wolf.
Around 1890, Vienna became the center of a musical modernism, whose range
ranges from stylistic pluralism and irony in Gustav Mahler's works in the late
1880's to Arnold Schönberg's development of the twelve-tone technique in the
Between these extremes, Alexander von Zemlinsky represented a more Wagnerian
style that built on the tonality, just as Erich Korngold (1897-1957) composed in
a late romantic tonal language, influenced by Richard Strauss.
The circle of composers who joined up around Schönberg's radical renewals,
known as the "Second Vienna School", included Alban Berg, Anton
Webern, Egon Wellesz, Hanns Jelinek, Hans Apostel (! 901-72) and to some
extent Ernst Krenek.
Austria's incorporation into Germany in 1938 meant the introduction of Nazi
racial laws. All Jewish and experimental music was banned, as were the works of
Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schönberg. In one case it was dispensed with: in
recognition that the Austrians could hardly live without popular classics such
as Radetzky-Marsch and An der schönen, the blue Danube, it
was kept secret by order from the highest place that Johann Strauß
d.æ. according to the Nuremberg Laws, Quartet Jew and Johann Strauß dy were thus
eighth Jew. The incriminating acts were partly forged, partly kept under lock
and key as 'Geheime Reichssache'.
After World War II, serialism emerged as one of several possibilities that
younger composers such as Friedrich Cerha, Kurt Schwertsik (b. 1935) and Roman
Haubenstock-Ramati were associated with. However, electronic music, which was
the starting point for Irmfried Radauer (1928-99), Haubenstock-Ramati and Gösta
Neuwirth (b. 1937), became of more far-reaching significance.
In the 1960's-70's, Schwertsik, Ivan Eröd (b. 1936) and Karl Heinz Gruber (b.
1943) also saw a tendency towards collage and "new tonality". Austrian opera
production experienced a revival in the late 20th century (Haubenstock-Ramati,
Cerha and Eröd), which began with Gottfried von Einem's (d. 1996) well-received
opera Dantons Tod (1947).
Austria - theater
During the 1700's. a popular dialect comedy, Das Wiener
Volksstück, arose in Vienna, mixing realistic, satirical and supernatural
elements. The origins can be traced back to the actor Josef Anton Stranitzky
(1676-1776), who performed improvised comedies in commedia dell'arte style, but
with a local type gallery.
The genre reached a climax with Ferdinand Raimund's (1770-1836) and Johann
Nestroy's pieces, which inspired Danish authors such as HC Andersen and JC
Hostrup. This particular Viennese comedy retained its popularity well into the
1800's, when it ended up being outcompeted by Johann Strauss' operettas. But the
tradition of folk comedy has remained strong in Austrian drama and is clearly
felt in Ödön von Horváth's bitter grotesques from the 1930's and Peter
Turrini's modern plays.
Originally, the Das Wiener Volksstück was performed in the city's
suburban theaters and appealed primarily to the ordinary
bourgeoisie. The literary drama, on the other hand, got its home at the Burgtheater,
which Emperor Joseph II in 1776 gave status as a national stage. Up through
1800-t. Burgtheater experienced a heyday as one of Europe's leading
theaters with Franz Grillparzer as house playwright and with an ensemble of
great actors attached to it.
In 1891, the critic and playwright Hermann Bahr argued in Die Überwindung
des Naturalismus that naturalism had to be overcome in favor of an "art of
the nerves"; this was expressed in the drama in Hugo von
Hofmannsthal's symbolist dream play, which revolved around death and the
relationship between life and art. Fin de siècle melancholy was carried over
into the new century, where it was paired with a certain ironic cynicism that
was characteristic of Arthur Schnitzler's drama.
After World War I and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy,
several Austrian artists chose to seek happiness in Germany. This included the
painter Oskar Kokoschka, who traveled to Berlin after shocking the Viennese in
1909 with his pre-expressionist drama Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen (1907,
printed in 1917), a sadomasochistic gender struggle that he staged in his own
scenography; this piece gained importance for the contemporary avant-garde.
Also Max Reinhardt left Vienna as a young actress and did not return to his
homeland as the world famous director in 1920, when he took over the management
of the Theater in der Josefstadt. Here he established the Salzburg
Festival, where his staging of Hofmannsthal's modern adaptation of the old
morality of Jedermann (1911, then. The Old Game of Everybody,
1915) can still be experienced in the cathedral square. Germany's incorporation
of Austria in 1938 deprived Vienna of the Jewish intelligentsia, which had
greatly influenced cultural life.
After the war, contact with the outside world became possible again, but not
without problems. From 1948, the Soviet occupying forces financed the communist Neues
Theater in der Scala, which until its closure in 1956, among other
things. marked himself with a number of significant Brecht performances, while
the Burgtheater maintained a politically motivated Brecht boycott that lasted
until 1966. Volkstheater introduced the French absurdists, and
internationally renowned directors such as Jean-Louis Barrault, Luca
Ronconi and Giorgio Strehler visited Vienna. In the late 1960's and early 1970's,
the participation of European and American theater groups in the Wiener
Festwochen to a break with the conservative theater environment.
On the other hand, the confrontation with Nazism has been long overdue. The
few times the theaters have tried, it has been met with violent audience and
critic protests. Under the telling title Burgtheater, Elfriede
Jelinek directed a scathing attack on Austria's most important actress in 1985
through all the vicissitudes of the 20th century, Paula Wessely (1907-2000), but
the play was only played in Bonn and later blocked.
Claus Peymann (b. 1937), head of the Burgtheater 1986-99, trumped
the performance of Thomas Bernhard's broader provocation against Hitler's
countrymen, Heldenplatz (1988). Peymann also opened the Burgtheater for
new Austrian drama (Peter Handke, Peter Turrini and Elfriede Jelinek) and for
a young audience that does not normally visit the established stages. In 2005, Burgtheater opened its
doors to Hermann Nitsch's Orgien Mysterien Theater, which performed its 122nd
Austria - film
Austrian film, which began production in 1908, included in the silent film
years Robert Wienes Orlacs Hände (1924) and Der Rosenkavalier (1925)
and Gustav Ucickys (1899-1961) Café Elektrik (1927); Austrians such
as Erich von Stroheim, Josef von Sternberg, Fritz Lang, Fred Zinnemann, Otto
Preminger and Billy Wilder had great film careers in Hollywood, but not in their
From 1933 onwards, the dependence on the German export market led the
Austrian producers to reduce the number of Jewish actors both in front of and
behind the camera, so that in 1938 they could easily enter the Greater German
Although there are smooth transitions between Austrian and German film
actors, the frozen Hans Moser (1880-1954) and the jovial Paul Hörbiger
(1894-1981) special 'Viennese' archetypes, while Paula Wessely likes to
incarnate unspoiled young woman from Vienna.
After 1945, Ernst Marischka's (1893-1963) film trilogy about the Empress
Elisabeth, Sissi (1955-57) with Romy Schneider and Karlheinz Böhm
(1928-2014), great popularity.
The sibling couple Maria (1926-2005) and Maximilian Schell had international
acting careers from the 1950's, and Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a star in
American film since the 1980's.
Among Austrian film's most significant newer names are Axel Corti (1933-93)
and Xaver Schwarzenberger (b. 1946) and, in particular, Michael Haneke.
Austria - Kitchen
The Austrian cuisine is composed of the cosmopolitan Viennese cuisine and a
number of country cuisines, which are characterized by solid stews, root
vegetables, wholemeal bread, smoked products and game. Deviating from the use of
the German-speaking neighbors is an extensive use of beef - in distinctive cuts
and in cooked form (including Tafelspitz) - and veal (Wienerschnitzel). A
tradition-rich coffee and café culture thrives alongside the rich bakery and
confectionery craft, which has a world-wide reputation; known are the
cakes Sachertorte, Apfelstrudel and Kaiserschmarrn.
Austria - wine
In Austria approximately 3 mio. hl of wine per year from an area of
approximately 55,000 ha. Most wines are single grape wines; the most important are
whites, which are either completely fermented and dry or noble sweet, made from
grapes attacked by noble rot. In the best wines there is great purity and fine
The main white wine grapes are the local specialty grüner
veltliner, which covers 37% of the entire area. In addition, Welsh
Riesling (9%), Müller-Thurgau (7.8%) and Weissburgunder (5%) are
mainly grown. Good red wines are made especially on zweigelt and blaufränkisch.
The country is divided into four wine regions with 16 districts. In
the Wachau near Vienna, dry wines are produced, while the humid climate around
the Neusiedler See promotes noble rot and thus the possibility of making fine
Large production is found in Weinviertel and Kamptal-Donauland, which
generally produce wines of a more even standard. Austria's wine exports suffered
a serious blow in connection with a fraud scandal in 1985, in which glycol was
added to increase the must weight. The wine laws were revised according to the
German model (see Germany (wine), and the country has gradually regained
respect and the former market.