Schmidt, Franz

BORN 22 Dec 1874, Pressburg (now: Bratislava) - DIED 11 Feb 1939, Perchtoldsdorf (near Wien), Niederösterreich
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Zentralfriedhof, Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, Simmering (Gruppe 32 C, Nummer 16)

the late romantic composer Franz Schmidt was the son of the merchant Franz Schmidt from Pressburg. His mother Maria Ravasz came from Hungary. As a child he showed musical promise and he studied piano with Theodor Leschetizky. In 1888 the family moved to Vienna, where he studied composition with Robert Fuchs, Cello with Ferdinand Hellmesberger and for a short time counterpoint with Anton Bruckner.

He was a member of the Wiener Philharmoniker from 1896 to 1911 and until 1914 he was solo cellist at the Hofoper (now the Vienna State Opera). He also worked as an organist and as a conductor and was a member of the quartet of Arnold Schönberg. In 1914 his opera "Notre Dame" was staged in Vienna. Also in 1914 he beame a professor for piano at the Music Academy in Vienna. The premiere of his second opera "Fredigundis" took place on 19 December 1922 in Berlin. From 1927 to 1931 he was the rector of the academy in Vienna. In 1937 his failing health forced him to retire.

His private life was complicated. He had a son from his early love Elise Zwieback, the musican and opera director Ludwig Zirner. His first wife Karoline Perssin (1880-1942) was treated in Vienna's mental hospital Am Steinhof from 1919 onwards and she was murdered by the nazis in 1942. His daugher Emma unexpectedly died in 1932 after the birth of her first child. His pupil Margarethe Jirasek (1891-1964) became his second wife and provided him with a stable private life.

In Apil 1938 he voted in favour of the Anschluss of Austria to the German Reich. By that time he was very ill. He finished two works for the one-armed pianist Paul Wittgenstein later in 1938 and he died on 2 February 1939 near Vienna.

Related persons
• had work performed by Achsel, Wanda


The grave of Franz Schmidt at the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (28 Aug 2016)


• Budig, Robert S. et al, Ehrengräber am Wiener Zentralfriedhof, Compress Verlag Wien, Wien
Dr. Estrella’s Incredibly Abridged Dictionary of Composers: Find By Period
Franz Schmidt (Komponist) – Wikipedia

Schmidt-Gentner, Willy

Published: 14 Jun 2020
Last update: 18 Aug 2022