About us

The Vienna University Choir and Orchestra have a long tradition and have had conductors such as Anton Bruckner. We currently consist of eight choral groups and two symphony orchestras which are organized by level and genre of music, making us the largest choral and orchestral Commu,nity of Austria, if not of Europe.

We offer different activities:

Choirs and orchestras which perform classical and symphonic music.

The Voice Club as an introduction for students and young singers who want to sing mainly pop music, musicals and world music.

Choirs for singers aged 55+ as an activity for an increasingly aging society.

In order to ensure a high standard of our diversified activities, we have a dedicated team of well-trained artists and staff who run and organize the various activities to contribute to our further musical growth.


Our Team

General DirectorVijay Upadhyaya
Deputy General DirectorVeronika Schmid
Choral ConductingBarbara Hofko
Choral ConductingDanutė Ganahl
Choral ConductingKarin Wagner
Orchestra Assistance StringsAntanina Kalechyts
Orchestra Assistance Wind SectionDavide de Ferrari
Band LeaderTimo Lang
Management DirectorJulia Entner
Public RelationsWolfgang Lüstenöder
Print Media & WebtextPhilipp Pöchel
Webmaster and ITDaniel Ziegenberg
GraphicsKarin Klier

Vijay Upadhyaya was born in Lucknow in India. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts in English literature, economics and history, he continued his studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz and graduated with the degree Magister Artium. His musical training includes 12-year degree courses in percussion (Tabla) and Indian classical dance (Kathak) in India.

He was visiting professor at the conservatoires in Paris, Edmonton (Canada), Tbilisi (Georgia), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Chengdu and Beijing (China), Istanbul, Trabzon and Malatya (Turkey) and in Damascus and has directed projects in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Singapore and East Timor. Since 1988 he is active as a conductor of choirs and orchestras in Austria and abroad. These include the "Graz University Choir and Orchestra," "Thirteen Strings" in Canada, "The Boston Sinfonetta" in the United States and the "Borusan Orchestra" in Turkey.

From 1993 to 1995 he was lecturer at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz. In 1995 he conducted at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS). From 1994 to 1999 he was musical director of the St. Charles Church in Vienna. His arrangements of Austrian carols are broadcasted throughout Europe.

From 1997 to 2001 he worked as a conductor at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Rome and was involved in projects with the "Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia". From 2001 to 2005 he conducted the "European Voices Istanbul" at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Istanbul and in the spring of 2005, he was head of a European Union project called "European Horizons" in Turkey. In this project master classes in conducting were held at 8 Turkish conservatoires and concerts given in 5 countries. In 2010 he founded the "India National Youth Orchestra" which, among other activities, played the opening of the German year in India during the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He currently directs the Orchestra and Choir of the Vienna University, the Vienna Schubert Orchestra and the Vienna Festival Chorus and has performed with world-renowned artists such as Peter Sellars, Christoph Schlingensief, Subhash Ghai and Peng Liyuan and worked at institutions such as the Vienna State Opera, the Vienna Burgtheater, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. From 2007 to 2010 he was artistic director of the Austro-Iranian Symphony Orchestra and Choir in Tehran. Since 2008 he works as an expert for the evaluation of cultural projects for the European Union. Since 2009 he has been a regular guest conductor of the Chinese National Orchestra and Choir. From 2010 to 2013 he was conductor of the Providencia Philharmonic Orchestra and the Concepción Symphony Orchestra in Chile. Since 2013 he has become somewhat withdrawn from his activities as an international conductor because he is writing on his first symphony, which will be premiered on December 11th, 2014 in Vienna.



Born in Klagenfurt, Veronika Schmid had her first piano lessons at the Carinthian State Conservatory. From 1995 to 2002 she studied Music Pedagogy and recorder at the Vienna University of Music with focus on conducting. From 1997 to 2001 she was conductor of the vocal ensemble Vrohsemble. Since October 2000, Veronika occupies the position of the Assistant Conductor of the Vienna University Choirs. Since 2003, she is also working as freelancer for the music publishing company Universal Edition.



Barbara Hofko was born in Upper Austria and has been living in Vienna for the past 15 years. After completing her studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Vienna University and at the Vienna Conservatory, she has, among others, conducted concerts and orchestral workshops in the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein and across Europe, Azerbaijan, Turkey and India. Barbara continues to study conducting with Maestro Guido Mancusi and is an enthusiastic lover of "Viennese music." She also plays the viola and accompanies recitals on the piano.



Danutė Ganahl received her initial musical training at the M. K. Čiurlionis Music High School in Vilnius and studied choir conducting at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. During her studies she worked for the boys' choir "Ąžuoliukas" in Vilnius as a vocal coach and choral assistant. In 2007, Danutė moved to Austria to continue her studies at the University for Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna (mdw) and at the Kunstuniversität Graz. 2013/14 she graduated successfully from both courses – choral conducting and orchestra conducting - at the mdw (MMag. art. with distinction in choral conducting). Since 2007 Danutė sings as soprano in the Arnold Schoenberg Choir, with which she participates in numerous concert and opera productions in Austria and abroad. Besides she is regularly performing as répétiteur on the piano.




Karin Wagner was born in Lower Austria. From 2006 to 2013 she studied Music Pedagogy as well as flute, singing and choral conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Besides numerous master classes and collaborations with celebrated musicians of the national and international choir music scene - such as Johannes Hiemetsberger, Johannes Prinz, Alois Gassner, Thomas Caplin (Norwegen), Vytautas Myskinis (Litauen), Patrick Walders (USA), Johann van der Sandt (Südafrika) and Jim Daus Hjernoe (Dänemark) - she had also been a guest speaker at various choir festivals and choral conducting courses (Goldegg, San Diego Summer Choral Festival).
In 2016 she began her masters degree „Rhythmic Choir Conducting & Pop/Jazz Vocal Leadership“ at 
the Royal Academy of Music Denmark. In addition to her work as a choir musician she also plays the first flute in the Konzertvereinigung Wien.





Antanina Kalechyts was born in Minsk in Belarus. After finishing her piano studies at the Music College of Minsk, she studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz. Besides her Major in organ and her studies of church music with the major subject Gregorian musicology she completed her studies of orchestral and choral conducting. Further scientifique studies of Gregorian musicology as well as the foundation and direction of the Women`s Voice Ensemble „Graces & Voices“ have been the motivation for her dissertation (conferral of a doctorate with distinction in October 2016). The award-winning organist (International Organ Competitions S. Petersburg 2003, Graz 2008, Zürich 2009) is giving concerts in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Belarus, Lithuania, Italy, France and is also performing as church musician in Vienna.

Engagements at the opera in Graz, the opera theatre (Mumuth) and institutes of the Kunstuniversität Graz as répétiteur followed. She gained first experiences as a conductor in orchestras and ensembles of the University of Graz as well as in several opera productions of the mentioned university. She is participant of renowned master classes by Arturo Tamayo and Andres Orosco Estrada. She works project-oriented with the orchestra „Musica coeli“ and the Sirene-Operntheater (Vienna). In 2014 she debuted as a conductor at the Lehár-Festival in Bad Ischl, where she gives guest conducting engagements since then. Since 2016 Antanina Kalechyts is assigned to production studies and conducting assitance of the Neue Oper Wien.





As a pianist, Timo Lang has worked with several choirs, singers and instrumentalists. He occasionally enjoys singing in choirs as well. Since autumn 2013, he has been fulfilling various tasks for both choir and orchestra. He studies mathematics at the University of Vienna.




Julia Entner, born in Vorarlberg, worked for three years in a consulting company before she obtained her school leaving examination and moved to Vienna afterwards. Here she lives since 2014 and is studying sociology at the University of Vienna. In her youth she played clarinet but changed over to saxophon in 2012. Since March 2017 she is working in the Management sector and serves as contact person.





Wolfgang Lüstenöder, born in Styria, is studying art history at the University of Vienna and is singing in the University Choir since 2014. His musical training includes ten years clarinet lessons as well as several excursions to other instruments. He participates as clarinetist in a marching band and various other projects. Since the beginning of 2017 he is working in the Public Relations sector.





Philipp Pöchel, born and raised in Lower Austria, is studying German literature at the University of Vienna and is since the beginning of his studies 2015 part of the University Choir. Besides singing playing the guitar has been an essential part of his personal musical studies since his youth.
Since 2016 he is a member of the organisation team and responsible for all kind of print media and web texts.