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The city's most important concert halls are in the 1869 Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, better known as the Musikverein. This magnificent theater holds six performance spaces, but the one that everyone knows is the venue for the annual New Year's Day Concert—the Goldene Saal (Gold Hall). Possibly the world's most beautiful music hall, it was designed by the Danish 19th-century architect Theophil Hansen, a passionate admirer of ancient Greece who festooned it with an army of gilded caryatids. Surprisingly, the smaller Brahmssal is even more sumptuous—a veritable Greek temple with more caryatids and lots of gilding and green malachite. What Hansen would have made of the four subsidiary halls, set below the main theater, will forever remain a mystery, but the avant-garde Gläserne, Hölzerne, Metallene, Steinerne Säle (Glass, Metal, Wooden, and Stone Halls) make fitting showcases for contemporary music. In addition to being the main venue for the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Wiener Symphoniker, the Musikverein hosts many of the world's finest orchestras.
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