Education in Austria

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).

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).



POPULATION: 8,400,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)

AREA: 82,730 km²


RELIGION: Catholics 78%, Protestants 5%, Muslims 2%, Eastern Orthodox 1%, others or none 14%

COIN: Euro



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)




Austria is a 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.

  • Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as AT which stands for Austria.

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The Federal Republic of Austria’s Constitution of 1920 was repealed in 1934 and reintroduced in 1945.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 year.

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 wage income. Check youremailverifier for Austria social condition facts.

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 transport helicopters.

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 highlighted.

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 also Vienna.

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 1330-31.

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 1511-15.

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 Passau.

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 porcelain).

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 comedies.

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 template form.

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 Vienna.

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 the yodel).

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 mid-1920’s.

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 action.

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 home country.

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 film industry.

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 balance.

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 sweet wines.

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.

Austria Education