I studied abroad in London in the spring semester of 2022, intending to focus on my
performance and communication arts major. Even with that in mind, I knew I wanted to study
music whenever and wherever I could while in Europe, as many music classes at St. Lawrence
educate students about music worldwide. It is essential for anyone’s growth in knowledge to
consider how people’s lives are impacted by their culture, which is exactly what I wanted to find
out through music in Vienna.
I loved taking Musics of the World with Dr. Fritz Schenker and learning about how
music and culture are interlinked. I also loved Dr. In-Sil Yoo’s Music Theory class and learning
about classical music composition. One class I loved was The World of Clara and Robert
Schumann, taught by Dr. Barbara Phillips-Farley, which emphasized classical music culture in
the nineteenth century. Music in nineteenth-century Europe was celebrated in music hubs like
Vienna, and music has influenced the culture of the city, and its importance still shapes Viennese
culture today. There are historical landmarks dedicated to maintaining the musical heritage of the
city, which I knew I wanted to visit and soak in more knowledge from while I was abroad.
I was excited to learn that the Committee for International and Intercultural Studies can
provide aid to students who want to continue their studies in other countries while abroad, and in
my case, I was able to learn more about music even though there were not music courses
available in my abroad program. I was grateful to receive the Gudrun Brokoph German Studies
Experiential Learning Fund award to explore Vienna’s classical music and historic venues,
including the Musikverein, where I attended a concert performed by the Weiner Mozart
Orchestra before exploring museums that used to be homes to famous composers like Mozart
The first night in Vienna was the night I attended the Weiner Mozart Orchestra concert in
the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, which is a concert hall that has been open since 1870. The
concert hall is one of the best in the world because of its amazing acoustics and its spectacular
architecture. The orchestra was spectacular, and because the concert was dedicated to Mozart,
they played music only composed by him, but from a variety of his compositions. I was able to
hear Mozart’s music live, at a venue similar to where he would have performed.
I was also able to visit the Mozart Haus in Vienna, which is the actual well-kept remains
of the apartment that Mozart lived in with his family from 1784-1787, where he composed the
most music. The Mozarthaus is now a museum for guests to tour all three floors, and is
organized by information about Mozart's apartment, his music, and how he was influenced by
Vienna while simultaneously influencing Vienna with his music. It meant a lot to me to see
where Mozart lived and flourished, and the historic nature of the building was ever-present.
One less well-known site I visited is Robert Schumann’s place of residence from October
1838 through April 1839. After taking the class with Dr. Phillips Farley and discussing the
details of Clara and Robert Schumann’s lives, I felt privileged to have come full circle by seeing
one of the places Robert Schumann lived and composed music.
The following day I saw historical sites like Beethoven's Sterbehaus, which is the
location where Beethoven died even though the house is no longer there, and the Beethoven
Pasqualatihaus, where Beethoven had previously lived which is now a museum. Additionally, I visited the gravesites of famous composers such as Johannes Brahms, Johann Strauss, Franz
Schubert, and Ludwig Van Beethoven in the Vienna Central Cemetery.
I am excited to share more about my experiences abroad, and I am extremely thankful
that I was able to visit Vienna and learn more about music that I am passionate about. I
discovered more about classical composers that I admire, and I see how Vienna served as a place
of inspiration for them, and how Vienna continues to inspire music in the present day. I hope to
continue my studies in music, even after graduation.