Concerts where attendees come and go as they please are somewhat out of the ordinary, but it’s precisely this aspect that’s so appealing about the free events that take place at the heart of the MuseumsQuartier. When music strikes up in this wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, tourists and museumgoers stop to listen with just as much interest as do locals out for a stroll and families with small children. Summertime open-air concerts of this sort can boast a long tradition, here, with mdw students among those who’ve appeared in the past as part of selected events in the main courtyard. And just recently, on three days in June, a new cooperative project made it possible for three mdw-connected ensembles to perform on this year’s MQ Summer Stage under the heading of “MQ meets mdw”.
Inclement weather foiled the original plan to hold all three concerts outdoors, with rainfall on the first concert date forcing Trio Eledone inside to perform at the MQ’s Arena21. But despite the absence of any open-air feeling, these three young musicians wowed the audience all the same with their self-composed works featuring influences from various genres. The trio, consisting of Alex Matheis (bass), Jakob Gschwandtner (drums & percussion), and Jonas Kastenhuber (piano, currently studying Keyboard Instruments for Popular Music in the mdw’s IGP programme), took inspiration for their name from the animal kingdom. For just like the three hearts boasted by animals of the octopus genus Eledone, this trio’s three different instruments form an unmistakable union.
One day later, with the weather still less than 100 % summery, the Ineo Quartet was indeed able to perform in the MuseumsQuartier’s main courtyard. A solidly overcast grey sky and occasionally strong winds did nothing to subdue the audience’s exhilaration at hearing the String Quartet No. 1 in F-Major op 18/1 by Ludwig van Beethoven as well as the String Quartet in F-Major by Maurice Ravel resound through the courtyard. The quartet, consisting of the two violinists Nadja and Ljuba Kalmykova, violist Yan Lok Hoi, and cellist Constantin Siepemann, only formed early this year and can already point to some initial international appearances. As a name, the ensemble quite deliberately chose the Latin word Ineo, which means more or less “I begin”—for after the Selini Quartet, to which the two sisters had belonged, the Ineo Quartet quite literally marked a new “beginning”. Constantin studies cello (performance) at the mdw, while Ljuba and Nadia are currently enrolled in the postgraduate certificate programme in chamber music.
The “summer concert” label was finally done full justice by the appearance of quinTTTonic. Beneath a blue sky and bathed in brilliant sunshine, the five musicians swept their audience along on a vividly colourful musical journey. This brass quintet presented their current programme “Luftveränderung” [“Change of Air”], in which influences from multiple different genres as well as the players’ musical and variously Austrian roots could be clearly heard. Ensemble members Marlene Kogler (trumpet), Kerstin Gruber (trumpet), Katharina Zeller (horn), and Sarah Schreiner (trombone) study at the mdw, while Anna Guggenberger (tuba) is an mdw alumna who now teaches bass tuba at the University’s Franz Schubert Department of Wind and Percussion Instruments in Music Education.
Even if the weather wasn’t always cooperative, these three summer concerts were an unmitigated success and enabled the young ensembles thus featured to get all manner of listeners enthused about their music. A sequel to this fruitful cooperation is planned.