Austrian Music Highlights #19

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Ah, April: the month where you can get soaked to the skin by freezing rain, dried by the sun, and chilled to the bone by a wintry wind – all in the same day. The music scene is just as active: festival season is looming just over the horizon (see Austrian Music Highlights #18 for more), and whether you’re thinking of taking off on a Great Escape or staying in, we’ve got the music for you!

La Festa (I)

In a city that doesn’t shy away from big, bread-and-circus-style public spectacles, this may be one of the biggest: the Wiener Festwochen sprawl from May 12 to June 21st this year, featuring 165 performances in 20 venues around the city, involving 770 artists from 27 countries (we’re tired just writing it). It’s obviously far, far too much to give a synopsis here (for much more info check out the program), but here are a few musical highlights worthy of checking out:

  • Klangforum Wien et al, “Metamorphosis of a Living Room” (April 13-15, Halle G, Museumsquartier)
  • Franz Hautzinger, Agnes Hvizdalek, Jakob Schneidewind, and a host of others: “Elective Affinities” Festwochen concerts (weekly, see program; at Porgy & Bess)
  • Devonté Hynes & Big Island Orchestra, “Selected Classical Works” (May 29, Burgtheater)

La Festa (II)

If you’re traveling in the UK at the beginning of May, keep an eye out for Austrian artists – DIVESFARCEGood Wilson and UCHE YARA will all be performing at The Great Escape Festival, taking place May 10-13th at 50+ venues in Brighton, England. And while we’re on the subject of live gigs…

All The Way Live

If we’re talking about modern Austrian acts that can legit be referred to as “legends”, Kruder & Dorfmeister are surely at the top of the list. It’s no exaggeration to say that the dynamic duo has helped chart the course of EDM in the past couple of decades. But they’re not resting on their laurels: for the 30th(!) anniversary of their collaboration, they’re kicking off a major European tour in May, with a brand-new show and visuals by Jascha Suess. This is going to be one to tell your grandkids about. Dates and links to tickets here.

Photo of Kruder & Dorfmeister (c) Andreas Bitesnich
Kruder & Dorfmeister (c) Andreas Bitesnich

The Klangforum Wien is that rarest of birds: a Vienna institution with a playful spirit, tirelessly active and always looking to broaden their horizons. True to form, they’re busy this spring. Aside from their involvement in the Wiener Festwochen (see above), they’ll be the ensemble in residence at the Music Biennale Zagreb from April 13-22 (for a complete listing of Austrian artists and concerts at the festival see here) aaand they’ll be playing a major role the renowned Wittener Tage for New Chamber Music from April 21-23.

DIVES will be working hard in the next month – they’re at the Great Escape festival, as mentioned above, but they’ll be hitting Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and France on the way there.

LOU ASRIL will be winding up the tour promoting his new EP, with three shows in Germany at the end of April / first week of May.

SALUTE will be bouncing back and forth between North America and Europe in the next month or so. Bon voyage – and keep an eye out for our exclusive interview with Salute, coming next week!

The maverick new music ensemble STUDIO DAN will be returning to Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie for a three-day stint at the end of the month, as well as performing at the Musica Electronica Nova Festival in Wroclaw, Poland on May 14th.

**For details on these tours and many more, check out our Austrian Artists on Tour page!**


Staying close to home in the next few weeks? Well, we’ve got a few suggestions for you as well…

ENCYCLOPEDIC. Congratulations to the Vienna composer Mathias Kranebitter on his major release on KAIROS records – the album Encyclopedia of Pitch and Deviation (out now) includes several works recorded between 2014-2021 by such illustrious artists as the Klangforum Wien, the Black Page Orchestra and the Warsaw Philharmonic.

DIVERSE. The wise person knows that they know nothing: with her 2020 album Spinnerin: A Female Narrative, the contemporary folk musician Julia Lacherstorfer explored the untold stories of women in her circle. Her new release Nachbarin: A Diverse Narrative (Lotus Records) carries the search further, exploring the experiences and perspectives of women in her neighborhood – a transcultural project that brings together stories of migration, discrimination, mental illness, all told in music – because the first step to righting a wrong is making it visible.

Video: Julia Lacherstorfer – “Narben”

RETRO. LOU ASRIL‘s new EP RETROMIX21 is available now wherever fine records are sold or streamed. It’s a reckoning with his past, a herald of changes (personal and in the world) and extremely danceable. Check out our recent interview with Lou – and definitely check out the EP.

Stay warm (or cool, as the situation dictates) and we’ll see you next month!

Philip Yaeger