Universal Edition - Ernst Krenek – Biography


Ernst Krenek


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 France; acquaintance with the music of Igor Stravinsky and Les Six; compositional approach to neoclassicism; marries Anna Mahler

1925–27 – assumes post as Paul Bekker's assistant at the Kassel State Opera; essays on opera; study of Schubert's music; 'romantic' compositional phase

1927 – Bekker's assistant at the Wiesbaden State Opera;
premiere of Jonny spielt auf in Leipzig; and international recognition

1928 – marries actress Berta Haas (Hermann); returns to Vienna; meets Karl Kraus

1932–33 – founds music journal Dreiundzwanzig together with Alban Berg, Rudolph Ploderer, and Willi Reich; active in the International Society for New Music; first compositions using twelve-tone technique

1933 – commission from the Vienna State Opera for Karl V.; Krenek's name put on the Nazis' blacklist in Germany

1934 – following a Nazi-tainted campaign, the minister of education cancels the première of Karl V.; trip to Spain

1935–37 – intense literary activity; articles for the Wiener Zeitung; concerts and lectures in Vienna and elsewhere

1937 – first trip to the USA

1938 – second trip to the USA; expulsion from Austria following the Anschluss; concerts and lectures in the USA

1939–42 – professor of music at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

1939–42 – guest lecturer at the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin

1942–47 – Professor of Music, Head of the Department of Music, and Dean of the School of Fine Arts at Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota

1945 – American citizenship

1947–49 – guest lecturer at universities and colleges in New Mexico and Los Angeles and at the Chicago Musical College

–residence in Los Angeles

1948 – first publication in German of the autobiography, Selbstdarstellung

1950 – marries composer Gladys Nordenstrom; resumption of concert and lecture tours in Europe; lecturer at the International Darmstadt Summer Courses

1954 – Krenek Festival, Madison, Wisconsin

1956 – serial compositions; electronic music; study of medieval counterpoint

1957 – guest professor at Princeton University

1960 – Venice Krenek Festival

1963 – Krenek Festival founded by the North Carolina Music Society in Raleigh

1965 – Krenek Festival in Minneapolis/St. Paul; guest professor at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusettes

1966 – move to Palm Springs, California

1967 – guest professor at Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland and at the University of Hawaii

1968 – European tour conducting and teaching

1969 – first Krenek Festival at the "steirischer herbst" in Graz, Austria

1974 – Krenek Festival at California State University Northridge

1975 – 75th birthday celebration at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California; Twin Cities Music Festival in Honor of Ernst Krenek at Hamline University in Minnesota; Krenek festivals at California State University Northridge and University of California, San Diego

1978 – Ernst Krenek Archive founded at the University of California San Diego

1979 – Krenek Festival at the University of California Santa Barbara

1980 – Ernst Krenek Archive founded in the Vienna City and State Library; 10-city tour through the USA and Canada (sponsored by the German Goethe Institut)

1982Our Thanks to Ernst Krenek, exhibition by the Vienna City and State Library; Krenek begins to spend summers at the Arnold Schönberg House in Mödling (near Vienna)

1984 – première of Karl V. at the Vienna State Opera

1985 – Krenek Festival, University of California San Diego

1986 – first composition competition for the Ernst Krenek Prize, instigated by the City of Vienna

1990 – Krenek Archive (USA) Newsletter first published

1991 – dies on 22 December in Palm Springs

1992 – transferral of remains and burial in an honorary grave of the City of Vienna

1994 – Ernst Krenek Society/Palm Springs founded

1998 – Ernst Krenek Institute/Vienna founded  

2004 – Ernst-Krenek-Institute Private Foundation (, Krems a.D./Austria