Home to an astounding number of legendary composers—from Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven to Brahms, Mahler, and Schoenberg—Vienna maintains an incredible richness of musical culture to this day. The world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Musikverein, and the Staatsoper are just a few of the many leading institutions that help make Vienna a true “city of music”—and make it the perfect location for an engaging study of Music History and Performance.
Vienna will be your classroom. Imagine visiting one of the city’s world-famous concert halls to attend the rehearsal of a major ensemble, or visiting the homes of important figures in musical history such as Mozart and Beethoven. Welcome to study abroad! Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city’s historical, artistic, and cultural sites and include hands-on, practical components.
Organized in conjunction with the Vienna European Society & Culture Program, the IES Abroad Vienna Music Program is ideal for students majoring or minoring in Music, and offers you the opportunity to participate in a wide selection of courses focusing on Music and European Culture and Society.
You select your courses from English- and German-taught options in the following areas:
Additionally, you have access to a number of practice rooms at the IES Abroad Center and nearby facilities, a 50-seat Rococo concert hall at the IES Abroad Center, partially subsidized private lessons for credit, and a limited number of instrument storage lockers.
If you have advanced German skills, you can also enroll in courses at the Universität Wien and the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, where you can experience the Austrian educational system first-hand. You also have the option to participate in an internship in Music Research, Arts & Culture, Business, or Public Service, to gain field experience in Music Education, and to participate in exciting field trips and cultural excursions organized through IES Abroad.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
For students taking IES Abroad courses only
For students taking one or more course at a partner university
Arrive in Vienna by 11 a.m.
Depart any time of day.
For students taking a partner university course.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore Austrian History, Culture, Art, and many other topics through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors, as well as course options at prestigious local universities, enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day both in and out of class.
You take 15–19 credit hours per semester, and all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified. Language courses are taught in German, and all other courses are taught in English, unless otherwise noted. Academic programming is scheduled five days a week.
If you have taken fewer than two years of college-level German or the equivalent, you enroll in English-taught IES Abroad courses. If you have advanced-level German language proficiency, you may enroll in a combination of German- and English taught courses or all German-taught IES Abroad courses. If your German is at an advanced level, and scheduling allows, you can enroll in partner university courses.
You create your academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
Music Performance Workshop
A special feature of the program is the Music Performance Workshop, a course designed to offer instrumentalists and vocalists the opportunity to expand their repertoire and enhance their performance skills. Interested students submit a special application and audition on-site to be admitted to the workshop. As part of the Music Performance Workshop, you can enjoy the following features:
Music Performance Workshop auditions are usually held during the first or second week of your stay in Vienna. This is an opportunity for every performer to perform for everyone else; it gives the music department faculty a chance to assess your artistry and technical proficiency and lets all the musicians start to develop a sense of working together. That, after all, is the point of the Workshop: creating music with one another in a rich learning environment.
Additional Program Features
Note for Clarinet, Oboe, Horn, and Percussion instrumentalists
The clarinet, oboe, and horn as taught and played in Vienna have a different construction and require different technique than found in the U.S. However, IES Abroad maintains contact with instructors that teach and play in both traditions, so lessons are not a problem. You can view this as a unique opportunity to expand your knowledge of the instrument. Percussion studies in Vienna are particularly distinct from in the U.S. IES Abroad does not encourage timpani or percussion students to pursue their studies in Vienna unless they are particularly willing to overcome this complication. The same applies to most areas of jazz, computer, and popular music.
This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.
To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.
Enrolling approximately 70,000 students, the Universität Wien offers a wide variety of courses in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. The University boasts recognized academic strengths in Germanic Studies, Political Science, and Theology. Founded in 1365, the Universität Wien is one of the oldest universities in Europe.
Listed below is the broad range of disciplines available at the University. Advanced-level German language skills are required to enroll in courses.
For specific course offerings, visit the Universität Wien website, and click “Blättern” to browse options. Please note that course offerings vary from semester to semester.
Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunstwww.mdw.ac.at
Enrollment in courses in the following disciplines at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst is available to students with advanced German language skills:
While adding study abroad to your résumé is impressive enough, adding an international internship is even more powerful, and can help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market.
Here are just some of the ways your internship will set you apart:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. Participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship. Proficiency in German language is not required for the Education Field Experience or Public Service internships, but is recommended for Music Research, Arts & Culture, and Business internships.
The program offers a variety of opportunities:
You take a required seminar that offers contextual support to your practical work experience. An IES Abroad faculty member supervises the academic work and internships and field experience are routinely and formally monitored. A grade, based on the academic and practical components, is awarded for the 3-credit internship/tutorial combination and will be recorded on the IES Abroad transcript.
IES Abroad Vienna organizes field study trips that complement IES Abroad courses and help you build your general knowledge of Austrian culture and society. Past field study excursions have included:
Further, you attend events such as the rehearsals of leading ensembles in Vienna, visits to music-related historical sites like the homes of Mozart and Beethoven, and guided tours of famous music venues and museums in the city.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Vienna, it will feel like home.
Apartments – You have the option to live in an apartment that houses between three and six students. Some apartments are set aside for students interested in taking a language pledge and speaking only in German while at home.
Homestays – You have the opportunity to live with one or more IES Abroad students and an Austrian landlady/landlord or Resident Assistant.
Residence Halls – Allowing you to live among Austrian and international students, residence halls feature double rooms with a shared bath.
You have full access to kitchen facilities for preparing meals, which are not included in the program fee. All housing options include free Internet access.
Part of making you feel at home in Vienna is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad staff, your fellow students, and the city of Vienna. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
During the first few weeks following orientation, you spend half of each day in intensive German language instruction. The rest of the time is spent in academic advising, lectures on contemporary Europe, Austria, and Vienna, and tours of Vienna and the surrounding area.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Vienna through our cultural events, such as:
Although your adventure begins in Vienna, our field trips take you to other great cities in Austria and beyond to provide contrast and context for what you are learning in Vienna. These trips are partially subsidized by IES Abroad. Past destinations are listed below.
New/Old Europe Tour
10 days | Fall
This optional field trip offers you the opportunity to travel to cities that are off the standard tourist beaten path and to visit in a way you wouldn't be able to on your own. The New/Old Europe Tour will take you to three European cities - Wroclaw, Dresden, and Berlin - that embody the coming together of old and new, history and modernity. All three cities are great examples of the simultaneous coexistence of a deep historical past with a vibrant outlook towards the future.
9 days | SpringBerlin serves as a base for stops in Dresden and Leipzig. See the Zwinger, Semper Opera, Church of Our Lady, and Green Vault in Dresden; explore Leipzig, one of Germany’s oldest university towns; and spend a full week touring the many sites of Berlin (Check Point Charlie Museum, remains of the Berlin Wall, Reichtstag or seat of German government, Jewish Museum and Holocaust Memorial, etc.). You may also, in your free time, take a short day trip and visit Frederic the Great's Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam near Berlin.
1 day | Fall & Spring
Visit the famous Melk Abbey.
3 days | Fall & Spring
Ski Austria’s famous slopes.
2 days | Fall & Spring
Tour this Austrian region known for its delicious wines and vineyards.
Also known as the Palais Corbelli, the IES Abroad Vienna Center is an elegant 18th century palace in the heart of the city and is just minutes from many of the museums, theaters, and other major cultural attractions that have bestowed international fame on Vienna.
Dr. Morten SolvikIES Abroad Vienna Center Director
An international scholar, Dr. Solvik holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Music and Intellectual History from Cornell University. Born in Norway, he speaks Norwegian, German, and English fluently, and uses French as a research language.
Dr. Solvik was instrumental in setting up the IES Abroad Vienna Music Program, which he has coordinated since 1999, and has also designed and taught numerous courses in Music History. In addition to his work with IES Abroad Vienna, Dr. Solvik has served as lecturer at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst (The University for Music and Performing Arts). His teaching and administrative experience is augmented by his active and productive scholarly career as an expert on Gustav Mahler.
IES Abroad Vienna Staff
Kendall Burgess, M.A.Academic Registrar / Assistant to the Center Director
Kaja CiupinskaInstitutional Relations and Events Coordinator
Helmut SummesbergerManager of Student Affairs and Facilities
Meral KölblingerStudent Health & Safety Coordinator / Student Affairs
Mathias SchmerbachAccounting and Finance Manager
Tobias SigmundStudent Housing Coordinator / Student Affairs
Dieter StroblFacilities Coordinator / Library Services
IES Abroad Vienna Faculty
Gabriele AmonStudio Art
Mag. Art, University for Applied Arts in Vienna; Univ.-Lekt. University of Applied Arts, Institute for Art and Technology – dept. of Textile
Ulrike AntonMusic History
1er Prix - Degré Superieur (Conservatoire Hector Berlioz, Paris) ; Professional Performance Diploma (Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester); Master of Music (University of Manchester); PhD in musicology (University of Vienna/University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna); International concert flutist
Robert BarefieldIntensive Music Performance ProgramHartt School of Music
Roswitha BeneschArt History
Doctor philosophiae, Lektorin Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien
Evelyn BeneschArt HistoryPhD University of Vienna, Deputy Director of Bank Austria Kunstforum
Joelle BouffaMusic Performance
Dilpoma in solo piano, chamber music, and vocal accompaniment at the Convervatoire royal de Liege; Coach for the Institute for Voice and Musical Theater at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna
Deirdre BrennerMusic Performance
BA, Dartmouth College (USA); MMus, Royal Academy of Music (London, UK); Master's in Lied and Oratorio, Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversitaet (Vienna, Austria)
Bianca CalinescuMusic Performance
Diploma in Piano Performance, University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna
Ana DimovaDiploma in piano at the State Music Academy Pantcho Vladigerov (Bulgaria), collaborative pianist in the String, Woodwind, and Percussion Departments of the Vienna Conservatory (Privatuniversität Wien)
Peter FischerInternational Law
Dr.juris Vienna University Dr.juris honoris causa Bratislava University Professor emeritus Vienna University Professor Bratislava School of Law
Tibor FrankHistory, Cultural History
MA, DrUniv, PhD, DLitt
Corr. Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Professor of History
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
Michele FriedmanMusic Performance
B.M., M.M., California State University; Lehrauftragte - Universität Mozarteum Salzburg; Lehrauftragte - Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst ; Lehrende – Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität
Dietmar FrieseneggerMusic HistoryMA; PhD Candidate, Cornell University
Peter GerlichPolitical Science
Doctor rerum politicarum, Master of Arts, Ordentlicher Professor, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Wien
Barbara GorzynskaMusic Performance
M.A. in Music Performance (violin), Academy of Music in Lodz, Poland; Adjunct, Academy of Music in Lodz; Visiting Professor, University for Music and Performing Arts in Graz
Gerold GruberMusic Theory
PhD Musicology, University of Vienna; Univ. Doz., a.o. Univ. Prof. Musicology at the Institute for Analysis, Theory and History of Music at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
Carolyn HagueMusic Performance
BM, Stetson University; MM, University of Louisville; DMA, University of Maryland at College Park; Lehrende - Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität
Günter HaikaLiterature, Culture and Gender Studies
Mag. phil., Professor University of Vienna; Wake Forest University Vienna Program
Doctor rerum oeconomia, Dozent, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Karl-Franzens Universität Graz und Universität Innsbruck
Antonia HanreichHistory, Cultural History
Doctor philosophiae, University of Vienna
Freiberufliche Vortragende der
Doerte KuhlmannArt History, ArchitecturePh.D.,Bauhaus University in Weimar; professor of Architecture Theory, Gender Studies and design, Institute of Architectural Sciences,Vienna University of Technology
Ph.D., Doctor de Letteren (Leuven, 1996); professzor, Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Budapest, Hungary
Erik LeidalMusic History
B.M. in Music History, B.A. in English Literature, Rice University; M.A. in Musicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; independent international performer
William McElheneyMusic PerformanceIndiana University (Bloomington); diploma in Trombone Performance from the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna; Vienna Philharmonic
Graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Music and Political Science and a doctoral candidate at the University of Vienna in Contemporary History, Editor in Chief of the English-language monthly, The Vienna Review
Mag., Universität Wien
Wolfgang MoelzerBusiness, Management
PhD, University of Economics and Business Administration; Managing Partner of BKB Management
John MoraitisMusic History
Ph.D. in Musicology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; MA in Musicology, University of Georgia
Ph.D. in Literatures in English at Rutgers UniversityLecturer at the Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies at Eötvös Loránd University
Beatrice OttersböckArt History
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh
Freiberufliche Vortragende der Kunstgeschichte
Roman PfefferlePolitical Science
PhD, University of Vienna; post-doc researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Government at the University of Vienna
PhD, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana; Sprachtrainerin
Michael PinkertonIntensive Music Performance ProgramKonservatorium Wien Privatuniversität
MSc, MA, University of Vienna; Lecturer for German Language,University of York, Psychologist, Vienna grammar school teacher
Wolfgang ProhaskaArt History
Ph.D. University of Vienna; Curator of Italian, Flemish, French and Spanish Baroque Painting at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna; Position at the University of Fine Arts in the University of Vienna
Gabriele ProyMusic Composition
Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts
Lisa ReganArt HistoryPhD UC Berkeley, Instructor at UC Berkely and Lecturer at UC Santa Cruz
Rosa ReitsamerSociologyPhD University of Applied Arts – Vienna, Lecturer and Researcher in the Department of Music Sociology at the University of Performing Arts - Vienna
Tamás RétiEconomicsKözgazdasági és Piackutató Intézet (Kopint-Datorg), Budapest, Hungary
Heidi RoesslerStudent Teaching Internship Coordinator
Magistra philosophiae, University of Vienna
Lehrerin, Bundesgymnasium Wien XIX
Anna RonaiMusic Performance
MA, University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna
Russell RyanMusic PerformanceDMA, University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna; Professor of Collaborative Piano, Arizona State University
Margarete SchachermeierGerman, Cultural HistoryAkademisches Übersetzerdiplom, University of ViennaSprachtrainerin
Nadja SchmidtPolitical Science, Interdisciplinary European Studies
Mag., University of Vienna, Mag. College of Europe in Natolin/Poland; Phd student and lecturer, Political Science, University of Vienna
Miyuki SchuesslerMusic Performance
Kunitachi College of Music (Tokyo); diploma in Piano Performance from the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna; Lehrende – Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität
Martin SchwarzBusiness Internship Coordinator
Master of Art, University of Southern California-Los Angeles; Direktor
Martin Schwarz G.m.b.H.
Mag., University of Vienna; Sprachtrainerin
Dip, University of Vienna
Morten SolvikMusic History
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania,
Lektor, Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien
IES Abroad Vienna Center Director
Agnes StillfriedArt History
MA, art history, University of Vienna
Doctor philsophiae, Ausserordentlicher Professort, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft, Universität Wien
Doctor philosophiae, University of Vienna
PhD in German philology from the University of Vienna
Magister Philosophiae and Ph.D. in History, Universität Wien
Magister Phil, University of Vienna
Reinhold StipsitsPsychologyDoctor philsophiae, Ausserordentlicher Professort, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft, Universität Wien
Natalia WächterSociology, Anthropology, Political Science
Dr. phil., Mag. rer.soc.oec, University of Vienna; senior researcher at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna
MSc, University of Vienna Lecturer, University of Vienna and Medical University of Vienna