SOMD Students Study Abroad in Vienna

Last fall, fifteen UO music students studied abroad for three months in Vienna, Austria. Violinist Professor Gearhart created the program to give music students the opportunity to experience Vienna, the birthplace of classical music, as the music core sequences often make it difficult for music majors to study abroad.

The students experienced the flourishing music scene there: they commuted daily back and forth across the city to practice individually and in chamber groups at the Vienna Rehearsal Studio, met up with professional Viennese musicians to take lessons, and studied German and music history in a class about Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert.

Weekly excursions were for visiting the houses of these composers, including a hike in the area of Heiligenstadt, where Beethoven wrote his famous Testament. Weekends were for further exploring the arts culture or for travelling to other cities. One group excursion was in Salzburg, the hometown of Mozart, where students attended a masterclass at the Mozarteum conservatory, saw an opera or a jazz or classical concert of their choice, and hiked the gorgeous Untersberg.

This short movie is part of Christine Senavsky’s follow-on project for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, and it is an attempt at capturing the dynamics of the music culture in Vienna and in nearby cities as well. Music is a source of vitality there, and you find it everywhere you go, regardless of the genre.

"It is incredibly inspiring as a musician to participate in such a culture," Senavsky, said. "It is possible to work around course requirements and be part of a study abroad program like this one."

Professor Gearhart is planning another program for the year of 2017-18, contact him at