The story of my exchange to the University of Music Vienna

Montreal in the fall. With the trees ablaze of colours and the bustle of students seeing old friends, I could hardly imagine leaving. But after watching a presentation on McGill’s exchange programs I knew I wanted to apply.

Fast forward eight months, a language exam and visa application later and I was on a plane to Austria to study at the University of Music and Performings Arts Vienna. The first week of school in Vienna was spent just like McGill, AKA everyone else is partying, but music students need to take placement auditions

Except instead of Frosh the party was Oktoberfest.

After chamber music and orchestra auditions, it was a relief to arrive at violin technique class with Prof. Michael Frischenschlager. I had been working Prof. Frischenschlager for several years as he is a regular guest of the Schulich School of Music and the Orford Music Academy.

The strong number of international professors and guests at the Schulich School provides students the opportunity of international connections, regardless if they go on exchange.

A leap of joy after the placement audition results was followed by me running to the practice rooms. In my hands was the dream schedule of a violinist.

  1. Vienna Musikverein orchestra project with conductor Lorenzo Viotti
  2. Opera in Schönbrunn Palace
  3. A quartet with my friends
  4. Orchestra excerpts with Vienna Philharmonic Concertmaster Herbert Kroisamer.

If I was nervous for anything, it was playing solo orchestra excerpts for Prof. Kroisamer. I have been a fan of the Vienna Philharmonic since childhood and definitely didn’t want to disappoint my younger self! In the end, my fears were for nothing and I thoroughly enjoyed the course.

© 2021 Christina Duncan | Website by Sats Solanki | Photography by Brent Calis

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