Meet Composer Ernst Krenek

Only a few days ago we have celebrated Ernst Krenek’s 116th birthday. Reason enough to pick him – or better the Ernst Krenek Institute in Austria as our Artist of the Week.

In the USA the Austrian composer was often characterized as the “one-man history of twentieth-century music”. His catalogue encompasses more than 240 operas but also any classical music genre one can think off. The Ernst Krenek institute has a good database of his works online and is happy to help anyone exploring the diverse and widely spanned oeuvre of the composer.

Ernst Krenek was born in 1900 in Vienna. He studied with Franz Schreker first in Vienna then in Berlin. Krenek was deeply routed in the Vienna and Europe of that time. He met Theodor Adorno, Rainer Maria Rilke, Alban Berg, Karl Kraus and many others. His first wife was Anna Mahler, the daughter of Gustav Mahler.

Already in 1933 he was blacklisted by the Nazis in Germany but the Vienna State Opera still commissioned Karl V only to stop its world premiere a year later pressured by the growing Nazi influence in Austria. It took 50 years until Karl V. was premiered at the Vienna State Opera.

Krenek had to flee Austria in 1938 to the USA where he settled in California. He died in 1991 in Palm Springs.

To keep up to date with the Krenek Institute register as their fan on fans.hellostage.com/Ernst-Krenek-Institut-Privatstiftung

Comments [1]
Gerrit Prießnitz - 2016-08-31 08:23
Thank you for featuring Ernst Krenek. His works are usually sadly underrepresented and I am lucky to have conducted operas and symphonic works as well as having played Lied and chamber music composed by this highly interesting musicians.Hopefully there will be more interest in masterworks like some piano sonatas, the "Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae" and more in the future.
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