Mozarthaus Vienna: Bridging gaps between Vienna and the world

We interviewed Nina Nöhrig from the Mozarthaus Vienna, a museum about Mozart’s life and work, situated in the 1st district of Vienna.

Read about her work in the Sales department of the museum and about how the latter is bridging gaps between Vienna and the world.

Programme for the premiere of `The Marriage of Figaro´ 1786, © ÖNB, Theatersammlung (1)

Q: Nina, please tell me, in your own words, what is the purpose of the Mozarthaus Vienna?

Due to my field of work, which is Marketing, I’m really tempted to answer this question by reciting our usual Imagetext. So it’s a challenge for me now to describe our work in my own words. Well, Mozart himself lived in Vienna for more than 10 years. During this time he owned 14 different apartments in the city- must have been pretty stressful for him. But as a freelance worker he depended on the order situation and on top he was probably not the most pleasant neighbor to have. I always imagine how my neighbours would react if I’d play the piano the whole night through – I guess they wouldn’t be that happy. So, avoiding those kind of unpleasant situations was also a reason for Mozart to constantly move from one apartment to another. The Mozarthaus Vienna is the only apartment, that Mozart lived in, which is still preserved. Build around this apartment there are 3 floors, which exhibit Mozarts life in Vienna and his work. We see ourselves as the center of approach to Mozarts life and work in Vienna and try to make him more tangible for interested people from all around the world. Uh, it’s pretty hard not to drop back into the usual Marketingtext thing.

Q: So, how exactly does your field of work look like and how can we visualize your daily work life?

Well, basically, I’m working in the “Sales” area and my job is primarily to establish the museum and our programs of cultural mediation in different target groups, which basically happens through international cooperation. Thus, an important part of my work is the cultural mediation itself, creating content-related concepts and the implementation of those concepts, etc. – but those things often miss out for lack of time. Basically, we are a small team, hence everyone gets to work on different projects in other fields above their own. That is great because we have the opportunity to gain an insight into different fields, which would not be possible if we were a big team with rigid hierarchies and settled structures. Thus, our day-to-day work remains exciting and varied. Speaking of daily work life: of course I’m sitting in the office most of the time, writing tons of emails, organizing visitations, assigning cultural mediation programs, planning cooperations and so on, but luckily I also get to do a lot of business trips abroad, where I’m representing the Mozarthaus Vienna and other cultural sectors of our group. Right now, we have a “creativity competition”, which I found three years ago. Children up to the age of 12 can submit der ideas to the topic “Rock me Amadeus” until mid November.


Nina in her natural habitat. She studied Comparative Literature at the University of Vienna. (2)

Q: How does the MH Vienna contribute to cultural mediation between Vienna and foreign countries?

Most museums function everywhere in the world. If one goes to a museum of modern art, it won’t make a difference if this museum is located in Copenhagen or in Kyoto because it will pretty much look the same. But with the MH Vienna it’s different: here you have original Viennese themes such as Mozart an his work, Vienna as a cosmopolitan city of the music of those times, every day life in Vienna at the end of the 18th century and the living situation in those times and so on. Hence, we manage to put people from outside of Vienna – across borders – in touch with Viennese culture. Our aim is – in every meaning of the word – bridging gaps. Bridging gaps between the past and the present as well as between different cultures and thereby creating a room for people to connect through the universal language of music and commonly dive into Mozarts life and work.

Q: What does the resonance to MH Vienna in other countries look like?

When I tell Viennese people that I’m working at the MH Vienna, they always ask the same question: ‘oh, you mean the one in Salzburg?’ If I’m, for example, in Tokyo and I get asked about my job and I begin to talk about the MH Vienna, it turns out that almost everyone has already been here at the museum. I find that very interesting. As a Viennese you automatically think of Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg, when you think of him and most people don’t even know, that he spent one third of his life in Vienna and was deeply connected to this city. Some people, on the other side, know the museum better than me. So, you see, the resonance in other countries seems to be bigger than right here in Vienna and it’s wonderful to forgather people from all over the world together here at our museum.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

What I like most about it is that it remains to be exciting every day because I get to do so many different things and get handed many different tasks, which I can work on independently. I’m always in touch with other people, not only from Vienna but also from Moscow to Istanbul to Seoul and Tokio… the list goes on. Even when I don’t make the world a better place with my work: it is simply wonderful to be able to inspire people for culture.



Q: What plans do you hold for the future of the museum?

For the future, we plan to establish guided tours through the museum, which will be held in sign language. We also want to build children programs, created by children themselves. We never lack for ideas, but implementing them and deciding on which ones are worth following up, will always remain a challenge.

Hopefully, you will be able to realize your ideas! Best of luck, and many thanks to Nina for doing this interview 🙂 

Header & Image 1

Images 2 & 3 by Matthias Nemmert

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About Ece Isil Sahin

Ece has fallen for the arts since she was 5 years old. Growing up between backstage areas and theatre cafés, she is now majoring in Theatre-, Film- and Mediastudies at the Universitiy of Vienna.

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