Brewing long and deep at its center before radiating out to the rest of Europe, Vienna boasts an illustrious history and lasting intellectual impact. The Austrian capital dates back to Celtic and Roman rule, the latter inhabitants using the center city as a military hub among many other employments.
Situated on either side of the Danube River, the city’s well-positioned location allowed for trade to prosper, quickly followed by Baroque masterpieces of architecture and culture replacing the city’s humble medieval beginnings. The city’s dense center began to expand and elevate its own societal position. Dividing walls and small houses came down while palaces, parliament buildings and centers for the arts went up — along with Vienna’s population. A bustling, grand city emerged with a whole new genre of music in tow.
While certainly shaped by imperial history, industry and location, Vienna has its people to thank for its unwavering reputation as an artistic hub. The city’s immense cultural contribution to all of Europe can easily be pinned to its musical past and players. Composers and musicians from all over Austria and Germany found themselves in Vienna playing, teaching and inspiring the masses. Even the least musically inclined individuals may know Viennese residents and masters such as Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Johann Strauss I and II, as well as Gustav Mahler and many others — while not all originally having hailed from Vienna or even Austria, all found their way to the city for music.
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