Outreach projects

Classical star artists playing in schools

"What we have taken from the lecture is that we should go our own way and realize our dreams, but that the school is nevertheless important. " Anne-Sophie and Johanna (15)

For pupils, it is always a special experience when "stars" of the classical industry come to their school. The immediate proximity, making music and talking to them creates a very special relationship, even for teenagers who do not think that they have a hang for classical music. 

In 2007, we organized a school visit for the first time in cooperation with the Rhapsody in School program. The violinist Arabella Steinbacher, 26 years young at the time, came to a Viennese grammar school for 2 hours, played on her precious Stradivari violin, answered questions about the beginnings of her career - and was able to convince her.

Since 2015/16 we also present educational projects with the "Rising Stars" of the European Concert Hall Organisation ECHO.

Nora Fischer

Her mother tongue is Dutch, her father tongue is Hungarian, her center of life is London, which is why she speaks perfect English, while studying in Copenhagen a little Danish was added, a little French ("I've forgotten so much!"), she also speaks a little Italian and Spanish and in her concert in the Brahms-Saal of the Musikverein she confidently presented her German: Nora Fischer is clearly a linguist, especially in the language "understood by the whole world" according to Joseph Haydn and Nora Fischer masters them in a very specific, impressive way.

On the day after her concert in the Brahms-Saal (12th March 2018), she was also able to visit the BG & BRG 3 Boerhaavegasse. Nora sang excerpts from her broad repertoire of baroque music to the modern age, where, as she explained, the program was rather classical for the concert series of ECHO, otherwise she likes to work with pop and electronic musicians. Questions from the youngsters were answered willingly, also by the accompanying pianist Daniel Kool. Incidentally, Nora has a very special approach to "practicing" - but now only the students of Boerhaavegasse know that ...

Back from school, Nora then climbed onto the roof of the Musikverein building with our photographer to answer non-verbal questions for the Facebook series "Interview from the roof of the music" - another "language" that Nora masters perfectly.

Even the title of the article about Nora Fischer in our monthly magazine is characteristic: "Keine Kompromisse / No compromises" (German only)

Emmanuel Tjeknavorian

If an 11-year-old is already trying to inspire a classmate, who thinks Mozart is primeval, for classical music, it becomes clear that in the highly talented violinist slumbers a veritable pedagogical skill. Now rising star Emmanuel Tjeknavorian returns to his old school, the Sacre Coeur Vienna, four years after graduation and is thrilled when his question about who has ever gone to a classical concert has brought almost everyone's hands up.

What do dish out at a concert in a  school (5 December 2017) in the morning? Light food is not on the menu: Bach's Chaconne from the D minor Partita is his first piece. And then the "Last Rose" by Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst. Yes, there "I have to work a bit now" explains Emmanuel - and puts the finger-breaking variations crystal clear into the room. How long do you need, until you can play such a difficult piece so easily? A student wants to know. For one of the less than 1 minute variations, he practiced 11 hours a day for one week each day ....

Did he ever think of quitting? There are days when not everything runs smoothly, where one doubts. But "A life without music, I can not imagine that!"

„Interview vom Dach der Musik“ with Emmanuel Tjeknavorian.

Ellen Nisbeth

Rising Star Ellen Nisbeth from Sweden declared herself especially “honoured” and “privileged” on 16 May 2018 - the day after her Viennese debut in the Musikverein - to have the opportunity to make music together with students from the specialist high school, the BORG für Musik und Kunst, Wien 1, Hegelgasse 12. The pieces performed included extracts from the previous evening’s concert programme and a further work by a composer whom the students had to (and did!) identify (Tchaikovsky ϑ ). The pianist and presenter for the occasion was the seasoned concert pianist and accompanist Bengt Forsberg.
The countless questions from students included a wish to know whether Ellen still found time for personal life alongside her international career, how an international career is launched, how she made the transition from the violin to the viola, how much energy was required for her daily practice over many years and whether she had ever considered giving up on playing the viola altogether.
Where her private life is concerned, Ellen can count on the active support of her husband in raising their young son. As is usual in Scandinavia, he is completely involved in the care of their child and has placed his own violin career on the back burner while his wife completes her major ECHO tour.
Of course it is true that the years of study involved a huge investment of energy, yet as Ellen Nisbeth explained, this was not merely a “expense”, as “it gives energy” too, in the pursuit of a greater goal - an important message for the students listening in the auditorium of the Hegelgasse academy.  According to Ellen and Bengt, performing in the great concert halls of the world such as the Musikverein is the stuff of dreams, yet it is also clear for them that dreams can only come true through consistent hard work: “We are both dreamers - and we are realistic!“ 
It was particularly important for Ellen to put together a programme for the Brahms Saal that was highly personal – von Bach bis Duke Ellington – something confirmed by her pianist partner Bengt Forsberg: “It was totally you, and that was so great! We played Duke Ellington in the Brahms Saal!!!” 
So what would she have done if her career as a musician had not taken off? As a small girl, Ellen Nisbeth’s passion was football, and she could have imagined becoming a goalkeeper ϑ  - see our Facebook series #vomdach

Feedback from the students

"I'm not really a fan of classical music, but the pieces he played for us were impressive."
"He showed us that classical music does not necessarily have to be boring."
"I love classical music and the sound of his violin seemed to occupy the entire space, and I also liked that he let the audience share his passion for the music."
"He has made classical music more attractive to young people and he is really talented as well."
Mveto, Halmer, Holoubek, Chernetsova (16)

"We thought it was good that Emmanuel played many pieces (modern and classical), which also gave us some goose bumps. What we have taken from the lecture is that we should go our own way and realize our dreams, but that the school is nevertheless important. "
Anne-Sophie and Johanna (15)