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Today it is hard to imagine that initially any events and entertainments were forbidden in the Kursalon Hübner, or simply Kursalon in short, as today it is one of the most imposing and magnificent venues in Vienna. Built in the style of the Italian Renaissance, this grandiose building is located in the very heart of Vienna, right on the edge of the city park on Vienna's Ringstrasse.
In its early days, the Kursalon could only attract few visitors, as the Viennese were only supposed to stay there for water cures at the command of the city administration; concerts and even small social gatherings were explicitly and strictly forbidden. But the thirst of the Viennese for music and party - as one would say today - was greater than for healing- and mineral water. And so, already one year after the opening of the Kursalon, the first concert with Johann Strauss (the younger) took place. Thereafter, the Kursalon developed into a popular dance and concert venue and became a focal point of cultural life in Vienna. Johann Strauss' "Sängerlust-Polka" was premiered there by himself in 1868 and he, and his brother, conducted many more concerts with their orchestras in the impressive concert hall and enjoyed their greatest triumphs there.
The Kursalon is still dedicated to their waltzes today, during the Johann Strauss Ball, which is held here regularly. Another annual highlight in the "Ball Calendar" is the Ball of the Vienna Boys' Choir, which also takes place there every year. The concerts during Advent and the Christmas Gala should not be missing in any classical music schedule.
The old year is duly bid farewell there with a grand New Year's Eve gala: An illustrious gala dinner is served to the sounds of Strauss and Mozart, a waltz workshop invites you to burn off excess calories right away, and the fireworks at midnight over the rooftops of Vienna can be admired from the roof terrace.
A regular guest at the Kursalon is the salon orchestra "Alt Wien", one of the most renowned performers of classical Viennese music. In order to do justice to their great role model Johannes Strauss, here in his musical domicile, the Salon Orchestra is as well led by a concertmaster, himself playing the violin, instead of a conductor. The intense interplay creates a constant dialogue between the musicians on stage. This harmony, which is continuously being sought out, creates a positive tension, the crackling of which can be felt all the way down into the audience.