Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the opening of Vienna’s legendary Musikverein concert hall in 1870, the New Year coin 2020 features the Greek god, Apollo. The image of the god of music and dance is taken from a frieze, designed by August Eisenmenger (1830-1907), found on the ceiling of the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, the spiritual home of classical music in the Austrian capital. Considered one of the finest concert halls in the world, the Musikverein was designed by Danish architect Theophil Hansen in the Neoclassical style of an ancient Greek temple. The building was inaugurated on 6 January 1870, when the first night audience was captivated by the combination of its architectural and acoustic beauty. However, the legendary sound of the Golden Hall is not the product of scientific precision but of fortuitous happenstance, as Hansen had to rely on his intuition rather than on studies of architectural acoustics. Fortunately, the wonderful architecture resulted in sublime sound.
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