Protests rising as Austrian radio slashes new music

Protests rising as Austrian radio slashes new music


norman lebrecht

October 04, 2022

From an open letter by Klangforum Wien to the directors of the national broadcaster ORF:

ORF Radio is preparing to remove content and entire series from the Ö1 program or to shorten it beyond recognition: ZEIT-TON, the Ö1 JAZZ Night, the Long Night of New Music, art radio and other formats are affected. All in all, it’s about at least 575 hours of contemporary, mostly Austrian music that will disappear….

There is a threat of a clear cut with unprecedented damage to the domestic music scene and the associated economic value chain, which composers, publishers, labels, festivals, concert halls, jazz clubs, performers…

The ORF’s plans would be tantamount to fatal damage to the good reputation and international standing of Austria as a music country – not to mention the own weakening in the European Radio Union (EBU) due to the lack of content to be offered.

The petition is signed by most major Austrian cultural institutions.

Add your voice here.



  • Lothario Hunter says:

    “It is scientifically proven that when the cows listen to the music of Mozart, they make very good milk. When they listen to contemporary music or avant-garde music, they make acid milk. Or maybe ricotta, I don’t know.” (Riccardo Muti)

    • Charles1986 says:

      Terrible opinion. Boo.

    • Paracelsus says:

      Ricotta is a perfect description for Muti’s Beethoven.

    • The Governor of Chicago says:

      An entire entertainment industry could be span up by quoting Muti verbatim, just like with Trump. The more ignorant and crass the assertion, the more ecstatic his hard core fans and the local Chicago, Italian, and Austrian dumb press. The notorious metoo quote is an example.

  • Dixie says:

    Austria is obviously making the cultural headlines for all the wrong reasons. I am not interested in 12 Tone compositions nor in jazz. But there very well are people who do appreciate such music. If the ORF broadcasts the mediocre Performances of the State Opera, it should also allow other genres equal time.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    You can’t have it both ways, NL. You can’t admonish the Viennese for their allegedly awful treatment of Mahler, even today (in spite of the fact that the V.P.O. can play the pants off of Mahler on one of their particularly ‘on’ days), and yet expect us to wring our hands when the ORF wishes to jettison music programming that probably few folks actually listen to. You’re putting them in a ‘no win’ light. It’s not fair. The current generation of Austrians have nothing to do with the awful things that past generations of Austro/Germans are guilty of. . . . and as for the Vienna Opera, it’s always had a reputation for being a difficult place for leaders to get things done. But give them break – we just came out of the pandemic (if we truly have), and everybody is competing for leadership and true talent. You’re constant harping on the Viennese is becoming a broken record.

  • MR DAVID W LEGG says:

    Sounds to me as if the economics mean that they had to stop playing trash 😉

  • Rob Keeley says:

    Tragic. All that so-called taxpayer-funded music that no-one really wants to listen to anyway.