Youngsters deaf to town’s Beethoven tactics

Heerbrugg station in canton St. Gallen has tried to put off groups of young people from hanging out on its premises by playing classical music.

Youngsters deaf to town's Beethoven tactics
Dietrich Michael Weidmann (File)

The local council decided to take action in November 2010 against groups of young people drinking, listening to loud music and leaving their rubbish behind them at the station, online news website 20 Minutes reported.

The council was inspired to try something new having heard of the success of a London Underground project that had managed to restore calm and cleanliness by playing classical music through station speakers.

Since then, Heerbrugg station has been playing Mozart or Beethoven constantly from seven in the morning until ten o’clock at night, seven days a week, for over a year.

But the success appears to have been limited.

The youths have moved away from the entrance area, pleasing the local mayor, but have instead installed themselves not 50 metres away in the post office car park.

“It does not work,” local florist Darenka Zahnder told 20 Minutes. “Especially on Saturdays, they come with their cars to the post office car park and stand in front of the kiosk.”

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Austrian guests pack Mozart’s childhood violin for state visit to China

The violin that Mozart used as a child left Friday for a state visit by Austrian government members to China, where a seven-year-old girl will play it for President Xi Jinping.

Austrian guests pack Mozart's childhood violin for state visit to China
Anna Cäcilia Pföß will accompany President Alexander Van der Bellen on the state visit to China. Photo: Carina Karlovits/HBF

The girl, Anna Cäcilia Pföß, “will accompany us… as a musical ambassador and represent Austria as a land of culture,” President AlexanderVan der Bellen said.

“She will do it quite brilliantly, I am sure,” Van der Bellen told reporters before the 200-strong delegation of politicians, business people and others departed.

The violin is believed to have been made in the 1740s and until 1820 belonged to Mozart's sister Maria Anna, nicknamed Nannerl, also a child prodigy.

Since 1896 it has been in the collection of the Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, and is normally on display at the museum in the house where the composer was born.

Pföß will perform at Sunday's state banquet attended by Xi and Van der Bellen, playing pieces by, unsurprisingly, Mozart but also other Austrian and Chinese composers.

READ ALSO: Mozart's clavichord returns to Vienna

Photo: Carina Karlovits/HBF