Schönberg, Arnold

BORN 13 Sep 1874, Wien - DIED 13 Jul 1951, Los Angeles, California
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Zentralfriedhof, Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, Simmering (Gruppe 32 C, Nummer 21A)

Schönberg started violin lessons when he was eight years old and started composing at an early age without any education. Then Zemlinsky became his teacher and after the bank he worked for went bankrupt, Schönberg became a professional composer and he married Zemlinsky's sister Mathilde.

Richard Strauss used his influence to get him a job as composition teacher at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin and got him the Liszt Stipend as well. In Berlin Schönberg wrote the symphonic poem "Pelleas und Melisande", which he conducted in 1904. He returned to Vienna, where Berg and Web were among his pupils.

In July, 1908, as Schonberg was writing his second string quartet, Mathilde unexpectedly eloped with the painter Richard Gerstl, their upstairs neighbour who had become a friend of the family. Friends persuaded her to return to her husband and children. She went back and Gerstl committed suicide a few days later. Mathilde died in 1923 and within a year he married the young Gertrud Kolisch, the sister of violinist Rudolf Kolisch.

Meanwhile Schönberg had become famous for developing atonal composition. He wrote musical pieces in a 12-note serial method. In 1925 he moved to Berlin again, but as a Jew he had to leave Germany in 1933. He went to Los Angeles in 1934 and in his work he went back to tonal composition. In 1945 he had a heart attack and he gave up teaching.

Related persons
• was teacher of Berg, Alban
• knew Berg, Smaragda
• was teacher of Eisler, Hanns
• was painted by Gerstl, Richard
• knew Gerstl, Richard
• was a friend of Loos, Adolf
• was a friend of Mahler, Alma
• has a connection with Schillings, Max von
• has grave monument designed by Wotruba, Fritz
• was pupil of Zemlinsky, Alexander von

16/5/1906Austrian premiere of "Salomé" by Richard Strauss in Graz. "Salome" had premiered shortly before in Dresden. The Austrian premiere took place in Graz because the censor in Vienna didn't approve. Jenny Korb sang the title part. Strauss himself conducted and Gustav and Alma Mahler were in the public. Puccini was also there. The performance was a huge succes. [Berg, Alban][Mahler, Alma][Mahler, Gustav][Puccini, Giacomo][Strauss, Richard][Zemlinsky, Alexander von]


Arnold Schönberg's grave monument at the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna was designed by Fritz Wotruba.
Picture by Androom (15 Aug 1995)


• Budig, Robert S. et al, Ehrengräber am Wiener Zentralfriedhof, Compress Verlag Wien, Wien
Encyclopedie van de Muziek, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1959
Arnold Schoenberg's Second string quartet - The day music went mad
Just a moment...

Schönböck, Karl

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 12 Aug 2023