Equestrian statue at the Heldenplatz

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Space to make music

The capital of music has become a home from home for Music Traveler’s founders, Aleksey Igudesman and Julia Rhee: they both studied in the city, met here and came up with the idea of offering a professional service for musicians on their international travels. Music Traveler puts musicians in touch – via an app or the website - with easy-to-reach and affordable practice rooms when they are out on the road. “Vienna is, and always will be, the world capital of music, but for me it is also a center of innovation,” explained Igudesman. Which is why launching the project from Vienna was such an obvious choice. 

Music Traveler received funding from the Vienna Business Agency’s creative_project program. “We are very grateful to the Vienna Business Agency,” explained Igudesman. “The grant was the missing piece of the puzzle we needed to get Music Traveler off the ground in the first place and take the project to the next level.” Igudesman also praised the capital’s excellent funding infrastructure, with partners such as the Vienna Business Agency providing efficient assistance to help turn projects into reality.

Suitable spaces

Aleksey Igudesman studied at the private Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna. Julia Rhee trained as a pianist at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. Both know the problem of finding suitable practice rooms when traveling only too well, given that so few hotel rooms are compatible with their needs. For their start-up, the pair conducted market research before putting their vision into practice in a short space of time.
Music Traveler has various high-profile supporters, including Billy Joel, John Malkovich and Oscar-winning Hollywood film composer Hans Zimmer (The Lion King, Gladiator). “Old acquaintances” as Julia Rhee put it. It has another 25 ambassadors, all of whom are likewise friends from the world of music. Musicians are accomplished networkers by nature. Aleksey Igudesman works with Hans Zimmer as a composer, while Hyung-ki Joo – Aleksey’s partner in performance duo Igudesman & Joo – is on board as Music Traveler’s Chief Artist Relations Officer.

Planned expansion

At present, Music Traveler’s repertoire extends to Austria, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. “Alongside lots of other markets in Europe, we are already planning our expansion into the major music markets of the UK, South Korea and the USA,” Igudesman confirmed. The users are a diverse bunch: “In addition to professional musicians, we have a lot of students, school children and amateurs using Music Traveler.” And their needs vary greatly: “In Vienna there is mainly demand for rooms with pianos, as Vienna is the capital of classical music. But if we look at Berlin, we are fielding increased numbers of inquiries about spaces for bands, alongside classical rooms.”

For  more information please visit  Music Traveler and Wirtschaftsagentur Wien

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