The Viennese public starting calling for a conservatory of music as long ago as 1808. At the time, Vienna had no professional orchestras, other than the court musicians, whose services were used solely for church services and court concerts; very few of the great musical events were open to the public.
Three years later, an "outline for a music education institution for the capital city of the Austrian empire" was published, calling for a "public institution, to be formally established and managed by the state."
The mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna is among the world’s largest and most renowned universities specialised in the performing arts of music, theatre and film.
As an international leader for studies in music and other performing arts along with related academic disciplines since 1817, the university currently provides training to over 3,000 students from over 70 countries in 105 degree programmes and 68 supplementary programmes run by 24 departments.
It also is the workplace of ca. 1,100 individuals and presents over 1,300 artistic, scholarly and scientific events each year, making it Austria's largest organiser of cultural events.