In 1996, following a complete renovation of the space, the former chamber concert hall of the Musikverein was reopened as the Gottfried von Einem Saal. The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde chose the name to honour a composer with whom the Musikverein has a particularly close connection. Gottfried von Einem (1918–1996) premiered countless works at the Musikverein and bequeathed his large collection of scores, books and letters to the Musikverein archives upon his death.
The Gottfried von Einem Saal is currently used for intervals during concerts and receptions, and thus fills a gap in provision within the historical building’s design. In 1870, when the institution’s purpose was first determined, the interval was not yet regarded as a fixed and ritualised component of the classical concert experience.
The chamber concert hall is also a place of great historical resonance. For many years, the rehearsals of the Singverein, the choral institution of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, took place here. Herbert von Karajan and many other leading conductors worked together with the choir in this hall. Meanwhile, the chamber concert hall also has its place in Austria’s national history, as the location in which the new Austrian national anthem was chosen by a judging panel in 1946.