Universal Edition - Ernst Krenek


Ernst Krenek

The Composer

1900 – born on 23 August in Vienna

1906 – first music lessons; first compositions

1916 – beginning of studies with Franz Schreker at the Vienna Music Academy

1918 – military service

1919 – study of philosophy at the University of Vienna (two semesters)

1920–23 – Krenek follows Franz Schreker to the State School for Music in Berlin; meets
Ferruccio Busoni, Hermann Scherchen, Eduard Erdmann, Artur Schnabel, and others

1921 – first compositions using free atonality

1923–25 – residence in Switzerland; encounters Friedrich Gubler (arts section editor of the Frankfurter Zeitung), Rainer Maria Rilke, and Werner Reinhart

1924 – first meeting with Theodor W. Adorno; trip to ...


About the Music

Born in Vienna in 1900, Ernst Krenek’s life encompassed nearly the entire 20th century: he died at the age of 91 in exile, in the United States. “Exile” could indeed be a fitting description of his enforced stay in America – after all, he might just as well have returned to Austria once World War II was over. He did spend some time in his native country every now and again, but only for short periods, perhaps because he no longer felt at home, neither was he prevailed upon by the cultural powers that were to settle once again in Vienna. For all his successes as a composer, the high regard in which he was held as a teacher, and the fact that he was married to an American lady, ...


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