Students practice violin
Study Abroad
Vienna Summer - Music History & Performance Add to favorites
  • Vienna, Austria

You are here

Vienna Summer - Music History & Performance

Why Vienna?

Study in a city recognized around the world for its influence on the development of classical music. Vienna has been home to many of history's greatest composers, from Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven to Brahms, Mahler, and Schoenberg. To this day, the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Musikverein, and the Staatsoper continue to help make Vienna a true "city of music."

Located in the heart of Europe, Vienna is a city of about 1.8 million inhabitants that have, since its founding in the 3rd century, served as a bridge between a myriad of cultures. As an important crossroads between North and South, East and West, the city became a natural melting pot for new ideas. Out of this cultural richness has emerged a wealth of artistic accomplishments and innovative thinking—a heritage that we explore in our summer programs.

What You'll Study

Enroll in two to four courses for a total of 6 to 10 credits. There is an additional cost for taking more than 6 credits. German language instruction is required for students with less than one year of college-level German. The four courses you'll choose from are as follows:

  • Music History
  • Vocal & Instrumental Performance Workshop
  • Individual Performance Studies
  • German Language

Click to launch the virtual tour.

$5 Million in Scholarships & Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our scholarship and aid programs.


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. Specially designed for Music students, the Vienna Summer Music Program allows you to explore Music History and Music Performance in a city internationally recognized for its historical role in the development of classical music.

You enroll in two to four courses in Music History, Performance Studies, and/or German language for a total of 6-10 credits (an extra fee applies for students taking more than 6 credits).

Music History

Each summer the Music History component focuses on a different topic and period rooted in the rich musical tradition of the city. These topics rotate on a four-year basis so that you can return year after year and continue to expand your horizons.

2019: The Second Viennese School and the Early 20th Century

2020: Music of the Viennese Classical Period

2021: Music of the Biedermeier Era

2022: Music of the Late 19th Century and Fin-de-Siècle

Performance Studies

The Music Performance Workshop (MS390) allows you to expand your repertoire and performance skills as you immerse yourself in the cultural surroundings and performance traditions of Vienna. You must audition to participate.

In addition to group sessions and lectures, the performance studies component includes individual technical training (up to six hours of private instruction is included in the program fee) and participation in master classes. The concluding event of the summer is a public concert held in the Baroque performance hall at the IES Abroad Center.

You can also take MS391 Individual Performance Studies for one credit hour.

German Language Study

The program allows you to study the German language at the beginning and intermediate levels. Part of the German language curriculum covers topics related to music and musical terms. German language is required for students with less than one year of college-level German study.


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.

Field Trips & Events

A weekend field trip, a day trip outside the city, and other excursions throughout Vienna bring you to sites that figure prominently in the lives and works of the composers being featured each summer. In addition, you have the opportunity to attend guest lectures by professional musicians. 

Destinations are selected based on the featured topic or period of the summer, and have included:

  • Eisenstadt (day trip)
  • Prague and Salzburg (weekend trip)
  • Museums in Vienna including the Haydn Museum, Strauss Museum, and Museum of Modern Art

Note: IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.

Daily Life

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.


After arrival in Vienna, you participate in an orientation program which introduces you to the city of Vienna, the IES Abroad program, and student life in the city. During the first few days, you will settle into your housing, take care of formalities, receive briefings on safety and security, and tour Vienna and the surrounding area.


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.

You live in an apartment that typically accommodates four to five students. Apartments have Internet access and fully equipped kitchen facilities. Meals are not included in the program fee.

Get to Know Your New City

Experience an Opera at the Wiener Staatsoper

Students have the incredible opportunity to see world-class opera performances for only a few euros.

Relax Along the Danube Canal

Enjoy the late afternoon sun while you take in the tranquility of this waterway.

Visit a Museum or Two on a Rainy Day

Whether you’re into classic or modern art, history, science, architecture, or nearly anything else, at least one of the 100+ museums of Vienna will interest you.

Ride the Praterturm at Prater Park

The “Prater Tower” is the highest swing ride in the world, providing both thrills and spectacular views of the city!

Sip Wine at an Authentic Heuriger

These Viennese wine taverns serve locally-produced wines and snacks to thirsty and hungry patrons who sit at long picnic tables.

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Summer 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Summer 2019 $5,615 $1,900 $135 $7,650

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

Summer Need-Based Financial Aid
Up to $1,000

Open to students who apply to and attend an IES Abroad or IES Internships summer program.

Criteria reviewed to determine award:

  • Level of financial need as determined from infromation provided on the application. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients.
  • IES Abroad program location.
  • IES Abroad membership status of home campus

Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 Million in Scholarships & Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our scholarship and aid programs.

Our Center

Also known as the Palais Corbelli, the IES Abroad Vienna Center is an elegant 17th-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.

Features include:

  • Classrooms
  • Student lounge and small library
  • Computer lab
  • High-speed Internet and printer access
  • Practice rooms and instrument storage for music students
  • Concert hall for music students

Visit the IES Abroad Vienna Center from home with our brand new VIRTUAL TOUR! Please go to:

Our Staff

Morten Solvik, Ph.D.

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 Staff

IES Abroad Vienna Staff
Ginte Stankeviciute, M. Sc.
Academic Program Manager

Elizabeth English
Summer Internship Coordinator and Special Programs Assistant

Katherine Mawdsley
Special Programs Manager

Helmut Summesberger
Manager of Student Affairs

Meral Kölblinger
Student Health & Safety Coordinator / Student Affairs

Maria Gabler
Program Assistant /Student Affairs

Mathias Schmerbach
Accounting and Finance Manager

Tobias Sigmund
Student Housing Coordinator / Student Affairs 

Kaja Ciupinska
Events and Trips Coordinator

Dieter Strobl
Facilities Coordinator / Library Services