History of Dommusik St. Stephan | The Office of Domkapellmeister | Cathedral Organists


Dommusik St. Stephan – Music at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna

Music has been part of life at St. Stephen’s for as long as the liturgy has been celebrated at the Cathedral.

The earliest written evidence of an organised, dedicated musical establishment is provided by a Stiftsbrief issued by Duke Rudolf IV in 1365, which – in connection with the founding of a collegiate chapter (today’s cathedral chapter) – also mentions a cantor who was responsible for the choirmaster, choir singers and pupils (Choirboys of St. Stephen’s).

The early sixteenth century was one of the most outstanding periods in Dommusik’s long history. This period was characterised by an intense process of cultural exchange between the music establishments of the imperial court and the Cathedral, and is reflected in the outstanding artistic achievements on both sides. 

In the eighteenth century, demand for sacred music at St. Stephen’s had become so great that for about one hundred years the music for the numerous services had to be overseen by two Music Directors, each leading his own Dommusik ensemble.

Famous musicians who have worked at St. Stephen's Cathedral include Johann Joseph Fux, Michael and Joseph Haydn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.




For further information on music at St. Stephen's Cathedral, please see: