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Vienna’s Konzerthaus ‘is bankrupt’

The bald statement comes from its new director, Matthias Naske. He says there has been no increase in public subsidy for 16 years and he can’t see how to make ends meet. The hall has a deficit of six million Euros.

Naske has spent that past 10 years running a Euro-flush concert hall in Luxembourg. More here and here (auf Deutsch).


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  1. Malcolm James says:

    New director making pitch for morte funding?

  2. Tully Potter says:

    The Konzerthaus, opened in 1913, was the last great cultural achievement of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. From the start, until 1935, the Busch Quartet was based there; and Vienna’s first full-time concert orchestra, later named the Wiener Symphoniker, was the resident orchestra. The main hall is very strikingly decorated and the building with its three halls has seen wonderful concerts by great artists over the years. It needs to be properly funded.

  3. This is just another example of why the continental system of government subsidies is not all it’s cracked up to be, and not necessarily superior to the “American” way of fundraising and sponsorship. No increase in the subsidy in 16 years?? And nobody thought to take any other steps to address this problem until they got to the point of bankruptcy??

    • In America there would most likely not even be a Concert Hall (Konzerthaus) — much several full time orchestras and two opera houses like in Vienna.

      • Except there are such organizations in virtually ever big American city. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the government would just pay for everything and we could have multiple opera companies with little responsibility to sell tickets or appeal to the general public.

    • probably something to do with him being the new Director. He may take the Blair approach to news; first tell it really terribly, then when you actually make the change, it may not look so bad

  4. We’re talking here about Vienna, for God’s sake, one of the world capitals of music, a city synonimous with music. And I don’t know what America you’re talking about, but most American cities do have concert halls, some of them true jewels.

    • Vienna’s Staatstheater complex alone receives more funding than the entire budget of the NEA. That’s why its a city of music while we, for example, only have 3 cities in the top 100 for opera performances per year.

      • You have to differentiate between federal subsidies by the Republic of Austria (Staatsoper, Volksoper and Burgtheater – the Bundestheater) and what the municipality of Vienna subsidises.
        And here is where the fun starts: given that Vienna is currently run by a coalition of Socialists and Greens, the taxes go to improving cycle lanes, introducing pedestrian zones and subsidising art which deals with questions of migration – as well as musicals.
        No, don’t laugh. The art form invented to make money gets millions of Viennese tax Euros shoved up its jaxy, as it isn’t deemed elitist (we are talking here about Cats, Phantom, Beauty and the Beast, etc – the home-made musicals invariably flop).
        The Greens, meanwhile, successfully stopped a concert by a pop band they didn’t like and the director of the Volkstheater has planted a red star on top of his theatre.
        Sometimes I remember the saying that Vienna is the laboratory for the end of the world.

      • I for one would be pretty upset if my government was pouring more than $100m into a single arts complex.

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