A TV Documentary About the mdw

What does it mean to study violin? How does a Max Reinhardt Seminar student spend her day when university is in session? And how does a highly gifted 10-year-old pianist prepare for his performance at the Konzerthaus?

Aufstieg zur Weltbühne
©Doris Piller

This coming autumn, ORF television viewers can look forward to the documentary Aufstieg zur Weltbühne [Ascent to the World Stage], which is currently being realised by filmmaker Barbara Weissenbeck and her team at Filmwerkstatt Wien. For this production, Weissenbeck has selected nine students from various programmes of study and is now accompanying them through their academic year—from ensemble rehearsals to major performances. This documentary offers an outstanding chance, fully in keeping with the mdw’s current bicentennial focus, to give a broad swath of the general public an impression of both the everyday and the extraordinary at the mdw. The protagonists’ stories, some of them very personal, will enable viewers to experience just what deciding to pursue music or other performing arts as a profession entails.

The featured students represent a cross-section of studies at the mdw, ranging from film to acting and on to conducting, instrumental performance, and education. To accomplish this, the director worked together with the respective department heads to select the participating students based on their artistic resumes and personalities. In addition to having the mdw in common, some of these students already know each other from various group projects, and these interconnections help make clear the university’s interdisciplinary character. “It’s really striking how much enthusiasm and initiative-taking we’ve encountered so far as we film. The students are extremely enthusiastic about their studies and very happy to be attending the mdw. As we work, we’re constantly meeting great, gifted, and highly motivated students and what one would most like to do is apply to study here oneself,” comments Barbara Weissenbeck. So stay tuned for the documentary Aufstieg zur Weltbühne, where we’ll be able to follow several mdw students as they progress towards just that!

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