Berg, Alban

COMPOSER (AUSTRIA)
BORN 9 Feb 1885, Wien - DIED 24 Dec 1935, Wien
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Hietzinger Friedhof, Maxingstraße 15, Hietzing (Gruppe 49, Nummer 24F)

Son of a merchant whose musical talents were noticed in early age. He became a scholar of Arnold Schönberg (1904-1909) and would put the principles of atonality in music in practice.

In 1906 he met the opera singer Helene Nahowski. He wanted to marry her, but her family had serious doubts about his health and his prospects. It took until 1911 before they were finally able to marry.

In 1917 he started writing the opera "Wozzeck", based on the play by Büchner. In 1925 it was first produced in Berlin. In 1923 he had become widely known by the public after a string quartet was produced at Salzburg.

From 1929 until 1935 he worked on the opera Lulu, based on Wedekind's play. It wasn't completed at the time of his death and after Schönberg, Webern and Zemlinsky refused to complete it, the third act was placed under embargo by his widow Helene. Only after her death in 1976 it became clear that the opera was almost finished and it was first produced in 1979.

Until the end of his life Berg had a passionate relationship with Hanna Fuchs-Robettin, a sister of Franz Werfel and the wife of a rich industrialist. He had met her in 1925 in Prague and he used secret codes in his works to refer to her. This was only discovered in 1977 by the composer George Perle and possibly this is the reason why Helena suppressed the third act of Lulu after his death.

Related persons
• was pupil to Schönberg, Arnold

Sources
Find-A-Grave

Images

The grave of Alban Berg at the Hietzinger Friedhof, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (30 Aug 2002)

 


Berger, Alfred, Freiherr von

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 16 Aug 2014