Trouble in Vienna as concert hall loses main sponsor

Trouble in Vienna as concert hall loses main sponsor


norman lebrecht

December 31, 2013

While the Vienna Philharmonic gleams and waltzes in tomorrow’s New Year’s Day gala, Vienna’s other concert hall has stumbled into crisis.

The board of directors cannot decide on a president to succeed Dr. Theresa Jordis, who died in September, and the leading sponsor, Kapsch, have announced they are pulling out of the shaky enterprise.

The Konzerthaus is owned and operated by a private association with 9,000 members. Anyone can join for an annual fee of around EUR 50. But decisions are taken by a inner clique of 25 board members. The Austrian Government provides 2 million Euros a year in subsidy and the lead sponsor 200,000.

George Kapsch quit after his candidate was rejected for the presidency. His departure, our insider says, could cause a confidence crisis. There has been some media chatter, and the situation seems to be worsening. Not a good omen for the New Year.



  • Anon says:

    If the lead sponsor only puts in €200k then it’s not quite crisis time. I imagine the operating budget of the hall to be significantly greater than the €2m from the State, so even if no-one else comes forward with that money, it’s not yet a catastrophe in itself.

  • Tully Potter says:

    The Konzerthaus, the last great artistic project of the old Austro-Hungarian empire, actually has three halls, the main one, the middle-sized Mozart Hall where the Busch Quartet, Konzerthaus Quartet and Alban Berg Quartet used to appear, and a tiny square room for very small concerts, now called the Schubert Hall, if I remember correctly. It’s an important place because the city’s main concert orchestra, the Vienna Symphoniker, has always been based there.

  • Beaumont says:

    The whole situation is disgusting, as I have already mentioned before.

    The Konzerthaus underwent major refurbishment/renovation some years ago, which went massively over budget (as the place was falling to bits). These debts are still on the books.

    And while the City of Vienna is keen to waste huge anmounts of taxpayer money on musicals (at present ‘Legally Blonde’), and subisidising everything that deals with ‘migration’ (THE artistic topic at present), places such as the Konzerthaus are going to the wall.

    Happy New Year.

  • Edgar Brenn says:

    Wien, Wien, nur du allein…. Surely, there is more scandal lurking beneath the surface? Would make the ball season much more entertaining! The Konzerthaus is the better hall, according to some. So there you have perhaps one reason for the nastiness. Prosit Neujahr!!