Vienna is considered the capital of classical music, and we couldn’t agree more. Their reputation in the music scene is largely comprised of the composers that have long since passed this world.
Need proof? Open your ears and shut your mouth as we drop some knowledge. Beyonce “I am Sasha Fierce” herself did her own take on “Ave Maria,” using Schubert’s classical melody. Other artists like Bright Eyes, Alicia Keys, and Santana have also sampled from Vienna's revered classical music composers like Beethoven and Brahms. Classical music isn’t dead and when you travel to Vienna, you can pay homage to the composers that continue to inspire modern musicians with their work.
While Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the world’s most well-known classical music composers, he actually died a pauper and was buried in an unmarked grave in St. Marx Cemetery. Though there is a monument in honor of Mozart located in Zentralfriedhof Cemetery among other famous music composers (in honor of his contribution to the music world), no one actualy knows where the young composer was laid to rest.
Ludwig Van Beethoven, probably known best for his classical works “Fur Elise” and “Moonlight Sonata”, was actually born in Germany but came to Vienna to be tutored by the one and only Mozart. Famously known for going deaf through the course of his life and composing the now famous Symphony No. 5, you can travel outside Vienna to the Zentralfriedhof Cemetery and visit Beethoven’s grave, where flowers continually get left at the site.
Enter any baby’s room and chances are the baby will be lulled to sleep by a famous lullaby composed by Mr. Brahms. The song, written by Johannes Brahms for a friend in 1868, continues to be one of the most popular songs to play for newborns when it’s sleepy time. See where Brahms found his eternal sleep in the ‘Musiker’ section of Zentralfrienhof Cemetery as well.
Think you know your Strauss from your Strauss II? If you like to shake your moneymaker a la Viennese waltz, likely you’ll be dancing to Johan Strauss’ compositions. Dubbed “The Waltz King”, he popularized “light music” and the waltz during the 19th century. Both Strauss and his father are buried in the Central Cemetery in Vienna alongside all the composers – a one-stop shop to pay homage.
Out of all the major composers in the world, Franz Schubert is the only major composer of the 18th and 19th century that was actually born in Vienna. He was originally buried next to Beethoven in “Schubert Park” but their remains were later relocated to the Zentrafriedhof “Central” cemetery in the 1880s. You can also pay homage to a variety of sites that honor Schubert, including Schubert Garage, where auto mechanics work but continue to honor the composer’s relevance.