The Society of Friends of Music in Vienna founded a "singing school" in Vienna in 1817, which became the core of today's University of Music and Performing Arts, which is the largest college of music in the world, boasting more than 3,000 students.

The first director of this singing school was  Antonio Salieri, who is known as Mozart’s counterpart. Franz Schubert composed his famous Psalm, "God is my shepherd" for the first public concert. The University of Music Vienna originated from these beginnings and after about 200 years of establishment, the catalogue of studies covers a very broad spectrum of courses ranging from conducting to training for Film and Television.

To date over 70 teachers at the Institute of Voice and Musical Theatre cater to the needs of around 140 students from different countries. The University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna is the largest educational institution for young singers in German-speaking countries. The training of young singers has been adapted in recent years to current needs and expectations of the Opera world.

In addition to traditional subjects we provide courses such as, breath training, but also vocal specialists providing medical and psychological care. An ultra-modern sound and video studio helps familiarize students with modern media demands. In order to promote practical training, numerous concerts and multiple opera productions per year are provided in addition to and aside from class recitals.

The building:
Palais Cumberland. This construction dates back to 1744 and was intended as a summer palace for Empress Maria Theresa. The additional tract, which was completely renovated in 1982, is now known as the Institute of singing and musical theater.

1986 to 1991 the Palais Cumberland was extended through the building of the most modern: new studio stage (“Neue Studiobühne”).