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Austria's Cultural Highlights

In cities, towns, and mountain villages across Austria, summer brings with it a sense of renewal, not only with nature in its fullest bloom, but also in collective spirit. Austrians themselves celebrate the season with a kaleidoscope of activities, exhibitions and festivals.


Carinthian Summer Music Festival
musician carinthian summer

Some 10,000 visitors attend the Carinthian Summer music and cultural festival every year, now running for over four decades. This is not only because of prominent artists, but also a great stage atmosphere whether at the lakeside benedictine monastery in Ossiach or at the congress centre in Villach with its amazing mountain views. The programme gracefully combines old and contemporary music.


Klimt 2012.
The Kiss that Changed the World

gustav klimt bild kuss
Austrian painter Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) would have celebrated his 150th birthday in 2012. His work, including his best-known painting ‘The Kiss’ (on show at the Vienna Belvedere), helped revolutionise the art of painting in the new modern era. While his works generated a lot of criticism in Austria, Klimt won numerous prizes abroad, and still today his pictures decorated with gold ornaments are among the most expensive in the world. As part of the Gustav Klimt Year 2012, many museums paid tribute to the great artist with special exhibitions.

Ars Electronica Center Linz
ars electronica centre
Interactive, colourful, all-encompassing – the Ars Electronica Center is a museum of the future, presenting innovative projects in the spheres of technology and computer art. In the museum’s Futurelab, visitors discover how art and science are closely interwoven and an inspiration to each other. Above all, the Center is for all to take part: isolate your own DNA, clone plants, or snap a photo of your own retina! Your visit is sure to leave you amazed.

Vienna's MUMOK
mumok wien
With its ever-changing special exhibits, Vienna’s museum of modern art
(mumok) is a real draw for visitors. From October 2012 to January 2013,
look forward to an exhibition of minimalist Dan Flavin; 14.06. - 16.09.2012
explore how art has influenced fashion using some famous examples, and
running from 27.01. - 27.05.2012 is the highly anticipated display by
Swedish sculptor Claes Oldenburg wherein MUMOK itself will be part of the installation.

Styriarte Music Festival
styriarte festival
Any discussion about Styrian music is sure to mention world-famous Styrian conductor and pioneer of early music and classical performance, Nikolaus Harnoncourt. The Styriarte Festival was founded in his honour in 1985, each year with a highlight theme such as, Bach, Haydn, Schubert or Händel. This year, the Stabat Mater by Dvořák and the Missa Longa by Mozart are dedicated to Harnoncourt.
Jazzfestival Saalfelden
jazzfestival saalfelden saxophon
Every August, thousands of visitors flock to the stunning mountain scenery of Salzburgerland to enjoy the world-class Jazzfestival Saalfelden with its sounds ranging from contemporary jazz to experimental sound. In addition to the main stage at the Congress Saalfelden, concerts also take place at art house Nexus, with free performances at City Hall Square and amidst the surrounding Alps. Programme details are released at the beginning of June.