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This celebration of the “Vienna sound”, which takes place each May, is not concerned with the stubborn preservation of the typical “Wienerlied”, but with its continuing evolution.

 © Mario Lang
It is due to pioneers like Roland Neuwirth that the “Wienerlied” – like the city of Vienna itself – has become cosmopolitan. Its influences range from jazz, blues, soul and pop to classical music. But it has lost none of its anarchy, offbeat wit, contrariness, and edginess along the way. Neurotic navel-gazing is still permitted, of course, and the “Wienerlied” has on occasion even taken up residence on the couch at Vienna’s Freud Museum.

But otherwise the festival is concerned with thinking outside the box, presenting the “Wienerlied” sung in the Serbian language in seven-quarter time or in classic reggae style. Very popular are also the “City-to-City Encounters”, in which the music of other cities is juxtaposed with Viennese music.

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