Located in the heart of Europe, Vienna is a city of about 1.8 million inhabitants that has, 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.
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."
Study Music History and Performance in Vienna, a city recognized around the world for its influence on the development of classical music.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
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).
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.
2017: Music of the Biedermeier Era
2018: Music of the Late 19th Century and Fin-de-Siècle
2019: The Second Viennese School and the Early 20th Century
2020: Music of the Viennese Classical Period
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.
IES Abroad Vienna organizes course-related excursions that complement what you’re learning in the classroom, and contribute to your general knowledge of Austrian culture and society.
You also have the opportunity to attend guest lectures by professional musicians.
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.
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.
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:
About the Center
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.
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
Ginte Stankeviciute, M. Sc.Academic Registrar / Assistant to the Center Director
Katherine MawdsleyInstitutional Relations and Events Coordinator
Helmut SummesbergerManager of Student Affairs
Meral KölblingerStudent Health & Safety Coordinator / Student Affairs
Mathias SchmerbachAccounting and Finance Manager
Tobias SigmundStudent Housing Coordinator / Student Affairs
Dieter StroblFacilities Coordinator / Library Services