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House of Music (Vienna)

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ABOVE: Virtual conductor exhibit at Vienna's House of Music.

"Have you ever sung an aria in the shower at the top of your voice? Or stood in front of the CD player conducting your favorite orchestra with a chopstick or whatever was handy? Or emulated The Who's Pete Townsend with a tennis racket in a burst of 'air guitar'? If the answer to only one of these questions is 'yes,' the House of Music in Vienna is for you!"

That's the word from the Vienna Tourist Board, which hopes to make the Haus der Musik as familiar to visitors as the Vienna Choir Boys, the Spanish Riding School, and Sachertorte. The board's press release for the new museum continues:

"Imagine standing at the podium and conducting the world's most renowned orchestra, the Wiener Philharmoniker! Dreams can 'virtually' come true at the House of Music, where you can earn a degree as a 'virtual conductor" without even having graduated from the Academy of Music. The venerable orchestra keeps the proper time, whether you choose to conduct in the manner of Herbert von Karajan (swiftly) or Hans Knappertsbusch (ver-r-r-y slowly). But be careful: the musicians aren't easy to please. You may even be shown up, when a Herr Professor within the orchestra gets up and asks you, 'Kennen Sie das Stück uberhaupt?' ('Do you even know this piece?') At that point, you might take some consolation from the rumor that even such a renowned conductor as Zubin Mehta was unable to conduct the orchestra to the satisfaction of its virtual members!"

Next Page > More musical fun, Web links > Page 1, 2

Photo copyright © Haus der Musik. Used by permission.

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Photo (c) iStockphoto.com/Robin Ahle

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