Discover classical music history through the legendary composers that lived and worked along the Danube River

As you cruise along the rivers in Europe, you can follow the paths of two iconic composers who sparked movements in the music world that continue to reverberate through this day: Beethoven and Mozart.

Legacy of a Master

Ludwig van Beethoven was a musical genius whose most famous works continue to transcend time and culture. Defying the odds of his foreboding future of complete hearing loss, Beethoven still managed to compose some of his greatest works, including his renowned Fifth Symphony.

Vienna, Austria: Beethoven’s Second Home

Beethoven was officially baptized on December 17, 1770, in Bonn, Germany along the Rhine River, though he was likely born a day or two earlier. However, for 35 years, Beethoven made his home in Vienna, Austria, which you can visit during select Danube River itineraries. Extend your journey in Vienna as part of your optional Vienna land package before your Gems of Southeast Europe sailing.

Strolling the city’s streets, you can see notes of Beethoven’s past through various landmarks, from memorial plaques to museums. Imagine visiting Theater an der Wien, a cherished historic theatre venue that hosted Beethoven’s first opera performance of Fidelio. During our Celebration of Music itinerary beginning in 2025, you can experience a performance of this sort for yourself in this storied city of songs at an artistic venue such as Burg Kapel. And on board many of our Danube and Rhine River itineraries, you can behold performances by local string trio La Strada (or similar) as they occasionally play some of Beethoven’s works.

A Classical Prodigy 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – one of the world’s greatest composers – has captivated audiences for centuries with his transformative music. Stories say he spoke highly of Beethoven’s talent and promising future in music; however, there is no official proof that these icons ever met. Pushing through musical boundaries at a young age in the small city-state of Salzburg, Austria, this young composer quickly rose to fame in 1784 by performing 22 concerts within a span of five weeks.

Salzburg, Austria: “City of Mozart”

Salzburg honors Mozart’s legacy and the future of music by transforming into one giant stage, captivating musicians, and music lovers all around during its annual Salzburg Festival each summer. Each year, visitors to the so-called “City of Mozart” during early summer may be fortunate enough to hear musicians rehearsing in the city.

During our Romantic Danube, Melodies of the Danube, Grand Danube Cruise, or Christmas Markets on the Danube itineraries, venture with us to Salzburg for a glimpse of the distinct golden façade of Mozart Geburtshaus at No. 9 Getreidegasse, where the visionary musician was born on January 27, 1756. You can also see more of Mozart’s legacy continue to flow while in Vienna. Visit his grand marble statue in Burggarten Park during your free time and follow his footsteps to Hofburg Palace where he performed his second public performance.

Learn more about our Danube River itineraries. For those with a passion for tracing the paths of these genius composers, custom classical music excursions are available for groups of 20 guests or more. Contact your preferred Travel Advisor for more information.

Experience More Connections

Read why guest Linda U. and her group felt safe and incredibly pampered during their Nile River journey.
Read more
8 Reasons why our innovative river cruise ships are the highest rated in Europe
Read more
Imagine yourself a part of a Monet masterpiece as you step into his lovely gardens at Giverny.
Read more