36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 059: Two resolutions—exam completed and new apartment


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 59 — Two resolutions—exam completed and new apartment
30-September-1971 (Thur.)

Wickenburggasse apartment


Day of composition exam.

Waited for 2 hrs [hours] to take the exam. Went in and spoke to the gentlemen, played a little piano, and sight-sang. Fairly easy. They said I was accepted into a theory class—I was hoping composition, but they also said that I could go as high as I was qualified for. So, at least I’ll continue studying harmony, and I’ll still be able to write music if I want.

5 minutes after the exam, I moved to the new address.

bei Frau P.
Wickenburggasse xxxx
Wien 1018, Austria

I had so much luggage, and I had to move all by myself, that I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Well, I finally moved, and spent the rest of the day getting settled. Even washed my own clothes. (Frau P. showed me the ropes.)


Today brings two resolutions to my life. I take the composition exam. I move into my new apartment.

Composition exam. I take the composition exam, which includes sight-singing, playing the piano, and speaking to the examiners. I thought it was fairly easy. I am told that I am enrolled in music theory and that at some future point I can become involved in composition. I am not certain if this is the standard route to composition, or whether I was not at the appropriate level for graduate study. After all, I am not certain if I submitted any compositions, and I was not a prior composition major. At the exam, they did not have me write any fugues or anything. Well, I’m in school—and I’m thankful for that.

Move to new apartment. Yes, I finally move to my new apartment on Wickenburggasse, an inner-city street filled with apartment buildings and a corner store. What a relief. (The resolution of earlier, frustrating problems brings relief.) I remember that I liked this apartment very much. I don’t have any pictures of the inside of the apartment, just one (I believe) of the outside. The apartment was only a few blocks from Augustinekirche and the Ringstrasse. I could either take the streetcar, or even walk to school. It was a good location. If you have time, check out Wickenburggasse on Google Earth.

The building. Going by memory, my room was on one of the upper floors of an old, traditional, apartment building. There was a very small, open, gated elevator that would slowly go up to your floor. This was a cool-looking elevator, the kind that you see in movies. Often, I would bypass the stairs and run up. In the picture above, my apartment building was the dark one on the left.

The room. I was in a single very large room with a bed, closets and drawers. Very clean. There was an oil heater at the far end of the room. Large windows faced the street. On either side of me were two rooms, one with the daughter of the landlady, and one with my future roommate, Pavel (my dorm roommate). The student bathroom was off to the side and was only a toilet and sink. The main bath of the house was shared, and was where the bath and shower were situated. The kitchen was shared. We were allowed to minimally cook, and keep some food in the refrigerator. This would be a nice New York City brownstone apartment.

My landlady, the lady of the house (hausfrau), was Frau P. I remember that we got along fine all year long and had no complaints about the living space.

I am happy. I’m in the theory/composition program. I have a place to live.


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