A leading concert hall offering a free and inclusive musical workshop week
- SommerMusikWoche/Inclusive Music Programme
- Wiener Konzerthaus
- Country of Implementation
- Western Europe
- Start Year
- First published
“Together they become one big, wonderful unit, and also grow beyond themselves through the music.” Susanne Luzia Kuster, Music Mediator, Wiener Konzerthaus
The Wiener Konzerthaus (Viennese Concert House) is one of the largest concert halls in Vienna, Austria, run by a private association. In 2019 the Wiener Konzerthaus launched an inclusive summer music workshop – the SommerMusikWoche (SMW) – at which professional educators sing and play with a fully inclusive group of participants for a whole week. Entrance is free of charge and the project was designed in cooperation with many local disabled peoples organizations (DPOs). In 2022 (post-COVID) the programme ran at full capacity, with 80 participants.
Inflated costs paired with physical barriers often hinder the elderly and people with disabilities from fully enjoying cultural events.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
The Wiener Konzerthaus is a historic cultural building and institution dating back to 1913. Following a renovation and the installation of many accessibility features, it launched the SommerMusikWoche (SMW) programme, a week of musical workshops run by professional musicians. The first SMW course was hosted in 2019 and was designed in close collaboration with several Austrian DPOs as well as educational institutions. Each year it enables 80 participants with and without disabilities to take part in mixed age/mixed ability musical workshops. The motto of “music connects,” is aimed at all music enthusiasts regardless of their origin, language, age, type of disability, or musical skill. All musical genres are celebrated, and most sessions consist of playing together with professional musicians and teachers. Participants acquire independence and social skills through their group interactions, along with strengthening their listening and musical skills.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft is a private, non-profit organization that is 88 per cent self-financed. In order to offer SMW free of charge, the project needs funding by a third party. Until 2022, it was a grant by a charitable foundation (Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, Switzerland). A major aim of the programme is to strengthen teaching capacity and to encourage (musical) dialogue between generations. Current collaborating organizations and special interest groups include Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne and the Austrian Disability Council (Der Österreichische Behindertenrat). The project is readily transferable to other venues within Austria or abroad.