Vienna, Centre of Musical Excellence

Ref: C2225552

For almost 250 years from the middle of the 18th century, Vienna established itself as the hub of the western musical universe. At one time or another, ‘great’ Classical and Romantic composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Schubert, Mahler, worked, lived in, or visited the city. During this course we will listen to, study, and discuss a selection of their orchestral, choral and stage music, also including the Strauss family and the early 20th century musical 'revolution' led by Schoenberg. One session will be a ‘live’ recital of Lieder sung by baritone Richard Hodgson with Peter Goodwin at the piano. All the remaining sessions will include numerous audio/video extracts for listening to and discussion. Session topics will cover; • The First Viennese School – Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven • Opera and dance in Vienna • The Viennese Lied - Schubert and Wolf • The Late Romantics – Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler • The Second Viennese School – Schoenberg, Berg, Webern

Course aim

To study in some depth the music of composers who lived and worked in Vienna from the time of Mozart through to the 20th century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Beginners will be introduced to some of the world's greatest music. Improvers will value the in-depth studies and discussions of selected works.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain why Vienna held such importance in the development of Western European ‘classical’ music
  • Identify well-known, and some not so well-known, pieces of music linked with Vienna, both by title and composer.
  • Discuss the background to, and structure of, one symphony by Beethoven, and one by Mahler
  • Describe what is meant by the First and Second Viennese Schools in terms of musical language, structure and aural effect.
  • Reflect upon and share personal reactions to music heard during the course.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Each session will include a selection of audio/video extracts for listening to,stimulating discussion and further research

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Pre-reading is not required or essential, but could include the lives and backgrounds of composers mentioned in the Course Description - e.g. Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Schubert, Mahler, the Strauss family.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Vienna, Centre of Musical Excellence


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing