Your concert visit
Tipps and FAQ about your concert visit in Vienna
Welcome to Vienna and the world of classical music. If you are attending your first classical concert, you may want answers to some of the following frequently asked questions:
- When should I arrive?
- What if I come late?
- Do I have to use the cloak room?
- Can I bring my cellular phone or camera?
- When do I applaud?
While admission time varies, we suggest you arrive at least 20 to 30 minutes before the concert is scheduled to begin. That will give you ample time to find your seat, relax and watch the musicians as they take the stage. Concerts usually begin promptly at the announced starting time. In consideration of the performers and fellow concertgoers, we ask that you remain in your seat until the concert has ended.
Usually there will be no admittance once the concert has begun, normally 5 to 10 minutes after the scheduled time. If there is an intermission, admittance opens again during the intermission.
To comply with the strict regulations for fire safety and escape routes specified in the Viennese event law (German: Wiener Veranstaltungsgesetz) use of the cloak room is almost always mandatory and part of the house rules. Coats, heavy bags and backpacks might end up blocking escapes and seating rows. Nobody wants to trip over someone's bag left on the floor in case of an emergency.
Because of insurance and handling reasons, the use of the cloak room is usually not free. Cloak room charges are not included in the ticket price.
We request that you turn off all cell phones, pagers, beeping watches, and other electronic devices before the performance begins. In addition, keep in mind that these are live concerts. Noise of any kind – talking, whispering, coughing, unwrapping candies, rustling pages of programs – can be distracting to the musicians, and diminish the audience's enjoyment of the music. Please try to be as quiet as possible.
Usually photo-taking or use of recording devices is not permitted during the performance.
There are two reasons to applaud at a classical concert: as a greeting, and to show appreciation. Just before the concert begins, the orchestra members will all be seated on the stage, except for the concertmaster - the violinist who sits in the first chair of the first row of the orchestra. You applaud to greet the concertmaster when he or she comes onstage. You applaud again a few moments later when the conductor comes onstage. Any soloists who will be performing will usually come onstage with the conductor; you applaud to greet the soloist or soloists as well. You do not applaud again until the end of each piece of music, to show your appreciation to the performers. Some longer pieces may have several sections, or movements, separated by a brief, silent pause. The audience does not applaud between movements of a piece. The program will list the movements in each piece, so you will know how many there are. Applause is usually reserved for the end of the last movement.