Arnold Schönberg: My Evolution
Arnold Schönberg – the Man and the Composer
1874Arnold Schönberg is born on 13 September, the son of Samuel and Pauline Schönberg (née Nachod) in Vienna II., Obere Donaustraße 5 (prior to the incorporation of the Viennese suburbs: Brigittenau 393).
Samuel Schönberg Samuel Schönberg is listed as "shoe manufacturer" in the "Trades and Professions" address book. Schönberg’s sister Adele (born on 20 December 1872) dies on 8 May (cause of death: encephalitis).
1876Move to Theresiengasse 5 (formerly Leopoldstadt 894). Birth of his sister Ottilie on 9 June.
1880Move to Taborstraße 48. Enrollment in primary school (Kleine Pfarrgasse 33).
1882Birth of his brother Heinrich on 29 April. Violin lessons.
1883"As a child of less than nine years, I had started composing little, and later large pieces for two violins, in imitation of such music as I used to play with my teacher or with a cousin of mine. When I could play violin duets of Viotti, Pleyel and others, I imitated their style." ("Introduction to My Four Quartets" 1949)
1885Enrollment in the k.k. imperial secondary school in the Vereinsgasse. Composes marches, polkas.
1886Samuel Schönberg acquires a commission and collection agency in the Kleine Pfarrgasse 31.
1889Death of his father from pneumonia.
1891Leaves school at 22 January and begins an apprenticeship with the private bank of Werner & Co.
"All my compositions up to about my seventeenth year were no more than imitations of such music as I had been able to become acquainted with - violin duets and duet-arrangements of operas and the repertory of military bands that played in public parks." ("My Evolution" 1949)
1892Move to Große Stadtgutstraße 10.
"Meyer's Konversations Lexikon (an encyclopedia, which we bought on installments) had reached the long-hoped-for letter 'S', enabling me to learn under 'Sonate' how a first movement of a string quartet should be constructed. At that time, I was about eighteen years old." ("Introduction to My Four Quartets" 1949)
1893Move to Theresiengasse 5 (renamed Adambergergasse the following year).Alexander Zemlinsky
During the summer, while at Kierling (near Vienna), composes the first complete work still extant: "In hellen Träumen hab ich Dich oft geschaut" ("In Clear Dreams I Oft Have Seen Thee") for Voice and Piano, after a text by Alfred Gold, whom Schönberg had met through his friend and mentor David Josef Bach.
1894As a member of the dilettante orchestra "Polyhymnia" he makes the acquaintance of his artistic mentor and later brother-in-law Alexander Zemlinsky. Moves to Leopoldgasse 9.
Receives a prize from "Polyhymnia" for the "Schilflied" ("Bulrush Song"). Composes Three Pieces for Piano in October.
1895Quits his job at Werner & Co. He takes over as conductor of the Mödling Choral Society, "Freisinn," the Meidling Men's Choral Society, as well as the position of chorusmaster of the Stockerau Metalworkers' Singers' Union.
"Ei du Lütte" or Four-voice Mixed Chorus a capella.
1896At the suggestion of Richard Heuberger, composes the Six Pieces for Piano, Four Hands. Between 1 September and 30 November, works on a Serenade for Small Orchestra, which remains unfinished.
1897On 22 March, begins work on a Gavotte and Musette for String Orchestra (In Olden Style). Scherzo in F Major for String Quartet (dated 27 July). "Mädchenfrühling" ("Maiden's Spring") for Voice and Piano (dated 15 September). Submits a String Quartet in D Major to Alexander Zemlinsky.
1898Converts from the Jewish religion to Protestantism. He instructs his first student, Wilma Weber von Webenau.
In July, breaks off composition of the symphonic poem "Frühlings Tod" ("The Death of Spring"), after the text by Nikolaus Lenau "Warum, o Lüfte, flüstert ihr so bang" ("Why, oh winds, do you whisper so fearfully"). Two Songs, op. 1, for Baritone and Piano (autumn). Zemlinsky arranges for Schönberg's String Quartet in D Major, "op. 0," to be performed by the Fitzner Quartet on 20 December at Vienna Musikverein.
1899Director of the Men's Chorus, "Beethoven," in Heiligenstadt. Beginning of relationship with Alexander von Zemlinsky's sister, Mathilde. Summer stay in Payerbach.
"Die Beiden" ("The Two") for Voice and Piano (dated 2 April). "Mailied" ("May Song") for Voice and Piano (8-9 May). "Gethsemane" by Richard Dehmel for Male Voice and Orchestra (unfinished). Four Songs, op. 2, for Voice and Piano (summer-winter). In September, during a vacation in Payerbach with Zemlinsky and his sister Mathilde, writes the String Sextet "Verklärte Nacht" op. 4 ("Transfigured Night") after a poem by Richard Dehmel (final version dated 1 December).
1900Director of the workers' choruses. Meets Alma Maria Schindler, the future wife of Gustav Mahler.
On 12 February, begins work on a Symphony in G Major (fragment). The announcement of a prize offered by the Vienna Composers Society inspires Schönberg to compose the "Gurrelieder" ("Songs of Gurre"). In a letter to Alban Berg, he gives details of the sequence of composition: "In March-April 1900, I composed the first and II movements. [...] In March (that is, early 1901) completed the rest!! Then began instrumentation in August 1901 [...] continued in mid-1902. [...] last worked on it in 1903 and completed it to about page 118. Thereupon put it aside and totally gave up! Took it up again in July 1910. Did instrumentation of everything but the final chorus. Finished that in Zehlendorf in 1911." "Gruß in die Ferne" ("Greetings to Afar") for Voice and Piano (first version dated 19 August).
1901On 18 October Schönberg marries Mathilde Zemlinsky in Vienna's inner city Lutheran church. The first domicile of the young couple is in Vienna IX., Porzellangasse 53. Move to Berlin in December. Engaged as conductor for Ernst von Wolzogen's literary cabaret, "Überbrettl."
From 18 June until 28 July, works on the opera-fragment "Die Schildbürger" (dramatic setting of Gustav Schwab's short story of the same name). Between April and September 1901, Schönberg sets eight songs from the anthology "German Chansons" and offers them to Ernst von Wolzogen (founder of the Berlin literary cabaret "Überbrettl"). From the collection, von Wolzogen acquires "Nachtwandler" ("Sleepwalker") and "Jedem das Seine" ("To Each His Own"). For the Viennese theatre "Zum lieben Augustin," Schönberg composes "Seit ich so viele Weiber sah" ("So many women I have seen") from Emanuel Schikaneder's "Mirror of Arcadia.". The "Brettllieder" ("Cabaret Songs"), so named, after Schönberg's death, for the occasion of their composition, lead to Schönberg's appointment as Music Director of Berlin's "Überbrettl"; he takes up this position on 16 December.
1902Birth of his daughter Gertrude on January 8. At the recommendation of Richard Strauss Schönberg is invited to teach harmony at the Stern conservatory in Berlin.Gustav Mahler
World première of "Transfigured Night" on 18 March in the Kleiner Musikvereinssaal in Vienna, performed by the Rosé Quartet. Interruption of work on the "Gurrelieder." Meets Oscar Straus, Viktor Holländer, Bogumil Zepler and Robert Fischhof, for whose operettas he does instrumentation.
1903In late summer Schönberg returns to Vienna with his wife and child. Meets Gustav Mahler. Takes up residence in an apartment in Liechtensteinstraße 68/70.
"Deinem Blick mich zu bequemen" ("To Grow Accustomed to Thy Gaze"), for Voice and Piano (first version dated 3 January). In February, completes the symphonic poem "Pelleas and Melisande," op. 5, which he had begun in April of the previous year. Works on the Song for Chorus and Orchestra "Darthulas Grabgesang" ("Darthula's Grave-Song"), after a translation by Goethe (now extant only as a fragment). With the settings of Gottfried Keller's "Geübtes Herz" ("The Experienced Heart") and "Die Aufgeregten" ("The Excited Ones"), completes the Six Songs, op. 3, - among them also "Freihold" ("Freehold," November 1900), "Hochzeitslied" ("Wedding Song," 1901) and "Warnung" ("Warning," May 1899). Instrumentations; two- and four-hand piano arrangements, among these the four-hand piano scores of Rossini's "Barbiere di Siviglia", Lortzing's "Waffenschmied" and Schubert's "Rosamunde" for Universal Edition in Vienna. At the end of November, begins the first draft of "Das Wappenschild" ("The Coat-of-Arms," op. 8, No. 2, completed in April 1904). Next come "Natur" ("Nature") after a text by Heinrich Hart (op. 8, No. 1, composed between 18 December 1903 and March 1904).
1904Together with Zemlinsky Schönberg founds the "Vereinigung schaffender Tonkünstler." The summer months are spent in Mödling, with the parents of his childhood friend, David Josef Bach. During the winter semester of 1904/05, Schönberg teaches at the "Schwarzwald School" located in the Wallnerstrasse of the Kohlmarkt. Since fall, Alban Berg and Anton Webern are among his students.
In March, sketches a Fugue for String Quartet in D Minor, which remains unfinished. During the summer, works with Alexander Zemlinsky on the instrumentation and piano score of the opera "Bergkönig" by Robert Fischhof. Also works on the First String Quartet in D Minor, op. 7, and the Orchestral Songs, op. 8. On 3 July, completes first draft of the score of "Nie ward ich, Herrin, müd" ("Ne'er, Mistress, Did I Weary"), op. 8, No. 4, and starts work on "Voll jener Süße" ("Filled With That Sweetness"), op. 8, No. 5, after a text by Petrarch. Works on a String Quintet in D Major (extant only as a fragment) and on the Orchestral Songs.
1905Spends the summer with his family at Gmunden on the Traunsee.Georg Schönberg
On 25 January, world première of "Pelleas und Melisande", op. 5, under Schönberg's direction, in the Großer Musikvereinssaal. On 6 April, with "Sehnsucht", completes the Six Orchestral Songs, op. 8, and on 26 September, in Gmunden on the Traunsee, the First String Quartet in D Minor, op. 7. In September/October, completes the Eight Songs, op. 6, the origin of which goes back in part to December 1903/January 1904: "Verlassen"/"Forsaken", "Traumleben"/"Dream-Life", "Ghasel". Works on the one-movement fragment "Ein Stelldichein" ("A Rendezvous") (dated 21 October). Between April and September, composes seven canons as well as drafts of songs and sketches for a Symphony in G Minor.
1906Birth of son Georg on 22 June.
On 25 July, at Rottach-Egern on the Tegernsee, completes the Chamber Symphony for 15 Solo Instruments, op. 9, "the last work of my first period that existed as a single through-composed movement." Begins Second Chamber Symphony (completed in 1940 as op. 38).
1907Beginning of intensive pursuit of painting. Befriends painter Richard Gerstl.
Composes "Friede auf Erden" ("Peace on Earth"), op. 13, for Mixed Chorus a capella, for a prize-competition; drafts of the work appear between 14 August 1906 and 9 March 1907 (Completion of choral movement). In the same period, writes the opera-fragment "Und Pippa tanzt" ("And Pippa dances") after Gerhart Hauptmann's "Glashüttenmärchen". On 8 February, in the Großer Musikvereinssaal, world première of the Chamber Symphony, op. 9, performed by the Wind Ensemble of the Orchestra of the Vienna Royal Opera and the Rosé-Quartet. Between March and April, composes Two Ballades, op. 12, for Voice and Piano. "Ich darf nicht dankend" ("I May Not Thank Thee"), op. 14 No. 1, for Voice and Piano (dated 17 December) and numerous other song-sketches.
1908Spends the summer at the Traunsee.
"In diesen Wintertagen" ("In These Winter Days"), op. 14, No. 2, for Voice and Piano (dated 2 February). While at Gmunden on the Traunsee, completes the Second String Quartet, op. 10, which he had begun in March of the preceding year. The third movement, dated 11 July, the second, dated 27 July, as well as the fourth movement may also have been composed in Gmunden. In both its use of material and in the history of the genre, this string quartet represents an interface within Schönberg's µuvre: the participation of a soprano voice dissolves the standard makeup of the string quartet. During this period, his work is marked by a break with musical tradition: the dissolution of tonality and the transition to the expressionistic period. On 21 December, world première of the Second String Quartet, op. 10, performed by the Rosé-Quartet and Marie Gutheil-Schoder.
1909Spends the summer in Steinakirchen, near Amstetten, with his family, Alexander Zemlinsky, Alban Berg, Anton Webern, and Max Oppenheimer. Submits his design for a notation-typewriter to the Viennese Patent Office.
"Am Strande" ("On the Beach") for Voice and Piano after Rainer Maria Rilke (dated 8 February). In February and August, he composes the Three Piano Pieces, op. 11 ("the first music of this kind to be published", which "accordingly, created a great sensation"). During the same time, completes the song-cycle Fifteen Verses from "The Book of the Hanging Gardens" by Stefan George, op. 15, begun in March of the previous year, with which he breaks through "all the limitations of a past aesthetic". Between 23 Mai and 11 August, in the summer resort of Steinakirchen, he composes the Five Orchestral Pieces, op. 16, "(between 1 and 3 minutes long) without cyclical connection [...] a colorful, uninterrupted exchange of colors, rhythms and moods." There, makes the acquaintance of the young doctor and poet Marie Pappenheim, who writes the text for the monodrama "Erwartung" ("Expectation"), op. 17. The first draft of this work for soprano and orchestra comes into being between 27 August and 12 September 1909. The score is dated 4 October 1909.
1910Moves into an apartment in Vienna-Hietzing, where he occupies himself intensively with painting. First exhibit of his paintings, at the Heller Gallery in Vienna. Readings at the Academy of Music.
In Vienna, on 14 January, the first movement of the "Gurrelieder" is performed for the first time, from the piano score. Two of the Three Pieces for Chamber Orchestra are dated 8 February; No. 3 remains a fragment. In June, completes the text of the opera "Die glückliche Hand" ("The Hand of Fate"), op. 18, and on 9 September, begins the composition, which will only be completed in November 1913.
1911Encounter with Wassily Kandinsky. At the end of September, moves into an apartment in Villa Lepcke, Berlin-Zehlendorf, at the corner of Machnower Chaussee and Dietloffstraße. Gives lectures on "Aesthetics and Rules of Composition" at the Stern Conservatory. Four paintings are shown in the exhibit "The Blue Rider" in Munich's Thannhauser Galery.Travel to
On 19 February, writes five of the Six Little Piano Pieces, op. 19; he sketches the last piece on 17 June 1911 under the immediate effect of the funeral of Gustav Mahler. In July, Schönberg completes the "Theory of Harmony", his major theoretical work, begun the year before, with a dedication to Mahler. On 7 November, he finishes the fair copy of the "Gurrelieder" score, on 9 December "Herzgewächse" ("Foliage of the Heart"), op. 20, for High Soprano, Celesta, Harmonium and Harp. World première of "Peace on Earth", op. 13 (version with orchestra), with the Philharmonic Choir and the Wiener Tonkünstler-Orchester under the direction of Franz Schreker in Vienna on 9 December.
St. Petersburg, 1912
1912On 21 February travels to Prague at the invitation of Zemlinsky. Conducts his "Pelleas und Melisande" and gives a talk in memory of Gustav Mahler, who had died the previous year. Pupils and friends, among them Kandinsky, Webern, and Gütersloh, compile the anthology "Arnold Schönberg," published by Piper & Co. in Munich. Mathilde's mother, Klara Zemlinsky, dies on 12 June. In December, after a stay in Amsterdam, travels to St. Petersburg to conduct "Pelleas und Melisande" as part of the Siloti concert-series.
Figured bass arrangement of Georg Matthias Monn's Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in G Minor for the "Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich" At the request of the actress Albertine Zehme, on 12 March, sets the first of twenty-one poems from Albert Giraud's "Pierrot lunaire" for Sprechstimme and Chamber Ensemble, the vocal structure and sounds of which are described by Schönberg as "downright brutally direct expression of sensual and psychical emotions." World première of the Five Orchestral Pieces, op. 16, under the direction of Sir Henry Wood, in London on 3 September. World première of "Pierrot" in Berlin on 16 October. At the end of the year, composes the Oratorio "Seraphita" as part of a trilogy intended to stretch over three evenings (remains unfinished).
1913Scandal during a concert of works by Schönberg, Berg, Webern, Mahler and Zemlinsky in Vienna on 31 March. In May, moves to Berlin-Südende, Berlinerstraße 17a. Receives his first stipend from the Mahler Foundation; additional stipends follow in 1914 and 1918.
World première of the "Gurrelieder" on 23 February in the Großer Musikvereinssaal in Vienna, under the direction of Franz Schreker. Sketches for pieces for chamber ensemble and orchestra. On 9 November, completes the orchestral song "Seraphita", op. 22, No. 1, and on 20 November, the opera "Die glückliche Hand" ("The Hand of Fate"), op. 18..
1914Conducts the "Gurrelieder" in Leipzig and the Five Orchestral Pieces, op. 16, in London.
In Prague on 29 January, world première of No. 2, 5 and 6 of the Orchestral Songs, op. 8, under the baton of Alexander Zemlinsky. November-December: composes the Orchestral Songs "Alle, welche dich suchen" ("All who seek thee"), op. 22, No. 2 (completed on 8 January 1915) and "Mach mich zum Wächter deiner Weiten" ("Make me the watcher of thy distances"), op. 22, No. 3 (completed on 14 January 1915).
1915In April, conducts Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Vienna. Moves back to Vienna in October, takes an apartment at Gloriettegasse 43 in Hietzing. In December, reports for duty with the Royal Regiment Hoch- und Deutschmeister No. 4.
With the "Totentanz der Prinzipien" ("Death-Dance of Principles", text-manuscript, dated 15. January), takes up work begun the previous year on a large-scale Symphony for Solo Voices, Chorus and Orchestra (fragment). Shortly thereafter, begins work on the text for the oratorio "Die Jakobsleiter" ("Jacob's Ladder", unfinished). The original concept provided for the "Death-Dance" and "Jacob's Ladder" to be the third and fourth movements of the Symphony.
1916From March to May, attends the Reserve Officers School in Bruck and is transferred to the Alternate Company in July due to breathing difficulty. Temporarily released from duty in October upon a request by the Viennese Composers' Union.Called up into the army
For a military company evening, composes the March for String Quartet and Piano"Die eiserne Brigade" ("The Iron Brigade"). Symphony-orchestra arrangement of the Imperial Grenadiers' March and the Austrian Grenadiers' March by Neipperg (unfinished). With "Vorgefühl" ("Premonition") on 1 November, completes the Four Songs for Voice and Orchestra, op. 22.
1917Called up into the army again in September and released from duty definitively in December because physically unfit for duty.
Drafts a "Love Song" for Violin, Viola, Violoncello and Harmonium, after a text by Rainer Maria Rilke (unfinished). In May, completes the text of "Jacob's Ladder" and in June begins to sketch the music, which he will continue to do in 1918 and 1921-1922.
1918Gives a "Seminar for Composition" at the Schwarzwald school. In the Spring, moves to Bernhardgasse 6 in Mödling. Founds the "Society for Private Musical Performances".
Sketches for a composition for string septet and a piano piece.
1919Hanns Eisler, Rudolf Kolisch and Karl Rankl become his pupils.
Contributes to the publication "Richtlinien für ein Kunstamt," published by Adolf Loos, as well as to a Willem Mengelberg commemorative volume.
1920Attends the first Mahler-Festival in the Netherlands; conducts performances in Amsterdam, is named president of the International Mahler-League. Gives courses in composition.
In March, begins work on a Passacaglia for Orchestra (fragment) and arranges the Five Orchestral Pieces, op. 16 for chamber orchestra, for the "Society for Private Musical Performances." In July, composes the first two piano pieces from op. 23 and sketches No. 4. In August, begins composition of the Serenade, op. 24.
1921Conducts "Gurre-Lieder" in Amsterdam. In June, travels with his family and several of his pupils to the Mattsee health spa. Because he is Jewish, the local government demands that he leave the premises. Travels on to Traunkirchen. Death of his mother, Pauline Schönberg, on 12 October.
For the Society, arranges "Roses from the South" and "Lagoon Waltz" by Johann Strauß. In July, in Traunkirchen, works on Prelude and Intermezzo of the Suite for Piano op. 25 (completed in 1923). On 6 October, completes the March from the Serenade op. 24. Arrangements of works by Schubert, Denza und Sioly. With Rudolf Kolisch, drafts an arrangement of Reger's Romantical Suite, op. 25, for chamber ensemble. Arrangements of Mahler's "Song of the Earth" and "Songs of a Wayfarer)" for the Society remain unfinished. Arranges a "Weihnachtsmusik" ("Christmas Music") for chamber ensemble.
1922Conducts "Pierrot Lunaire" in Prague. Darius Milhaud and Francis Poulenc visit Mödling.
In February, drafts the opening of a violin concerto. Sketches for two pieces for chamber ensemble (March and May) remain equally fragmentary. Orchestral arrangements of Bach's Chorale Preludes "Komm, Gott, Schöpfer, heiliger Geist" ("Come, God, Creator, Holy ghost," end of April in Mödling) and "Schmücke Dich, o liebe Seele" ("Deck thyself, oh dear soul," 24 June in Traunkirchen). Interrupts work on "Jacob's Ladder"; the composition remains unfinished (world première in Vienna, Großer Konzerthaussaal, 16 June 1961). In November, starts work on "Gerpa," Theme and Variations for Horn, Piano, Two Violins and Harmonium (breaks off after fourth variation). "Lied der Waldtaube" ("Song of the Wooddove") from "Gurrelieder," version for Chamber Orchestra and Voice (completion of holograph fair copy on 14 December in Mödling).
1923Having become sensitized to antisemitic actions and statements through the "Mattsee Incident", Schönberg breaks off his cordial relationship with Wassily Kandinsky, who has been an appointed member of the Weimar Bauhaus since 1922. He also declines an offer to become director of the Bauhaus music school, referring to the fact that he has been informed of antisemitic tendencies at the Bauhaus. Spends the summer in Traunkirchen. Schönberg's wife Mathilde dies on 18 Oktober.
World première of "Songs of the Wooddove," conducted by Schönberg (Soloist: Marya Freund), in Copenhagen on 30 January. Introduces a "Method of Composing with Twelve Tones Which are Related Only with One Another", which revolutionizes the traditional concept of harmony by means of a new classification of musical material and therewith lays "the foundations for a new procedure in musical construction which seemed fitted to replace those structural differentations provided formerly by tonal harmonies." ("Composition with Twelve Tones" 1941) In February, in Mödling, completes the Five Piano Pieces, op. 23, begun in 1920, and in February-March the Suite for Piano, op. 25. Completes the Serenade, op. 24 (April-May), which for the first time gives the new method of compostition a musically concrete form. After the death of his wife, Mathilde, on 18 October, continues work on the text of a "Requiem," which he had begun in 1920; however, he does not set it to music.
1924On 28 August, weds Gertrud Kolisch, sister of his pupil Rudolf Kolisch, in the Mödling Lutheran Parish Church. Special concerts in honor of his 50th birthday.Arts Academy
On 5 July, conceives a twelve-tone row entitled "Magisches Quadrat" and takes up work again on the Wind Quintet, op. 26, begun between April and July of the preceding year but interrupted due to the illness and death of his wife, Mathilde. Completes the fourth movement of op. 26 on 26 August, dedicating it to his grandson "Bubi" Arnold, born in 1923 in Schönberg's home in Mödling. On 20 July, in Donaueschingen, conducts the first public performance of the Serenade, op. 24. World première of the opera "Die glückliche Hand", op. 18, under the direction of Fritz Stiedry on 14 October at the Vienna Volksoper. Begins work on the Suite, op. 29, at the end of October.
1925In August is appointed Director of a Master Class in Composition at the Berlin Arts Academy, as successor to Ferruccio Busoni, who had died the previous year. Antisemitic protests in the "Zeitschrift für Musik" in reaction to Schönberg's professorship, which he takes up on 1 October.
Arrangement of the "Emperor Waltz" of Johann Strauß for the tour of Spain by the Pierrot-Ensemble (dated 1 April). Works on the Suite, op. 29, between June and August. Between 30 September and 10 November, composes Four Pieces for Mixed Chorus, op. 27 (two of the texts are by Schönberg himself; the other two are Hans Bethge's versions of poetry from the Chinese). On 12 November, having completed the fourth chorus-piece from op. 27, he begins composing a second series, the Three Satires for Mixed Chorus, op. 28, which he completes by 31 December before his move to Berlin.
1926At the beginning of the year arrival in Berlin with his pupils Roberto Gerhard, Winfried Zillig and Josef Rufer. Not only is Schönberg obliged by contract to offer lessons in composition six months of the year at the Academy of Arts, he is also expected to serve as member of the Academy's Senate. Until June of the following year lives with his wife Gertrud in the Pension Bavaria on Steinplatz in Charlottenburg. Between July and November temporary visits to Vienna. For health reasons first resumes teaching in Berlin in November.
On 26 March, in Berlin, writes the text for the canon "Wer mit der Welt laufen will" ("He who wants to run with the world"), set to music in 1934. On 1 May, completes the Suite, op. 29, begun in Mödling, and dedicates himself to the Variations for Orchestra, op. 31, in which, for the first time, he uses the twelve-tone technique of composition for large orchestra.
1927Invited as the conductor of his own works to the Berlin Broadcasting Hour. Plan for an international school for the cultivation of style. Spends the summer in Pörtschach on Wörther See, where after a lapse of many years he renews his friendship with Wassily and Nina Kandinsky. In September and October trips to Vienna. Among his new pupils are Nikos Skalkottas, Alfred Keller and Peter Schacht. In Paris special concerts in honour of Schönberg.
Between 24 January and 8 March, commissioned by the American arts patron Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, composes the Third String Quartet, op. 30. On 3 March, writes a dodecaphonic song for Baritone, after a poem by Oskar Loerke (fragment). On 12 July, completes the Zionist drama "Der biblische Weg" ("The Biblical Way"), which he had begun the previous year, and for the first time sets forth a comprehensive examination of Jewish politics, Jewish beliefs and the national identity of the Jews, which represents a direct expression of his own experience of antisemitism. Processional music in F Major, conceived for the drama, remains unfinished. On 14 September, Schönberg sketches the opening of a String Quartet; on 14 November, the tone-row table for a violin concerto. In Vienna on 19 September, world première of the III. String Quartet, op. 30, performed by the Wiener Streichquartett (Kolisch Quartet), in the presence of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, to whom it is dedicated.
1928At the beginning of the year trip to Cannes. At the end of January conducts "Gurrelieder" in London. Concertizes in Switzerland. In March Schönberg and his wife move into an apartment on Nussbaum-Allee in Charlottenburg in Berlin. Spends July to December in Roquebrune-Cap Martin on the French Riviera.
Schönberg and his wife Starts work on a violin sonata on 2 January, but is interrupted by his concert-trip to London; sonata is taken up again after the return to Berlin, yet remains a fragment. On 7 March, completes a canon in honor of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra; on 8 April a canon for three voices in three keys for the 25th anniversary of the Association of German Composers. On 21 August, in Roquebrune-Cap Martin on the French Riviera, completes the composition of the Variations for Orchestra, op. 31, and works on the fair copy of the score until 20 September. On 11 October, completes the arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach's Prelude and Fugue in E-flat Major for Orchestra, begun in May. In the libretto for the opera "Moses and Aron," he again occupies himself with questions of Judaism and the meaning of religion for Jewish unity. The text takes form between 3 and 16 October (at this time, Schönberg still speaks of an oratorio), "Preliminary Studies and Drafts" date from the end of September, while an earlier draft goes back to July 1926. The subject-matter is derived from Biblical prototypes in the Old Testament, deliberately transformed by Schönberg and enlarged upon through non-Biblical elements. World première of the Variations for Orchestra, op. 31, with Wilhelm Furtwängler and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, in Berlin on 2 December.
1929January to February: sojourn in Monte Carlo; August to September: Katwijk aan Zee, Holland.
Between January and March, composes Three Folk Songs for Mixed Chorus (begun in December of the preceding year) as well as Four German Folk Songs for Solo Voice and Piano, on behalf of the "German State Commission for the Folk Song Book", for an anthology to be published by Peters in 1930. Schönberg submits the choral work "Glück" ("Happiness"), op. 35 No. 4, dated 15 March, to the German Workers' Choral Society, which had commissioned a composition for male chorus in September of the preceding year. The world première takes place on 2 November, with the Erwin Lendvai Quartet, on the Berlin Radio broadcast "Modern Poets and Music for Workers". In April, completes the Piano Piece, op. 33a. On 3 August, completes the score of the one-act opera "Von heute auf morgen" ("From Today till Tomorrow"), op. 32, the first stage work ever composed on the basis of twelve-tone rows. The libretto by Max Blonda (Pseudonym of Schönberg's second wife, Gertrud) "as a satire on the married life of a very close relative" probably originated in autumn 1928 on the Riviera, the written copy of the condensed score - the composition itself - between October 1928 and 1 January 1929.
1930Conductorship in London. April to May: takes a cure in Baden-Baden. July to September: Lugano. Moves to new quarters on Nürnberger Platz. In October gives a lecture in Prague on "New Music, Outmoded Music, Style and Idea."
World première of the opera "Von heute auf morgen," op. 32, under Wilhelm Steinberg in Frankfurt am Main on 1 February. Between 19 February and 9 March, composes four of the Six Pieces for Male Chorus, op. 35, (all of these on his own texts) and submits them, along with the previous year's works "Glück" ("Happiness") and "Verbundenheit" ("Obligation") to the Berlin publishing house Bote & Bock publishers. In Berlin on 7 May, begins sketching the music of "Moses und Aron," continuing in Lugano between July and September. Takes up work again on the "Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene" ("Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene"), op. 34, begun in autumn of the year before on commission from Heinrichshofen's Publishing House in Magdeburg, which supplied movie theaters with atmospheric background music for silent films. Schönberg, however, dissociates himself from a genuine script-situation by reducing it to a psychological string of experiences: Danger Threatens - Fear - Catastrophe. World première of the "Begleitungsmusik" under the direction of Otto Klemperer on 6 November at the Kroll Opera in Berlin.
1931In March lecture for the broadcasting system of Berlin. May to September: Montreux-Territet, Switzerland. From October on remains in Barcelona for health reasons.
Continues work on "Moses and Aron," first in Berlin in January and then between May and September in Montreux-Territet (end of the first act and intermezzo, beginning of the second act) and in Barcelona as of the beginning of October. Between 8 and 10 October, composes the Piano Piece, op. 33b. World première of the Six Pieces for Male Chorus, op. 35, in Hanau on 24 Oktober, with the "13er Quartett der AGV Vorwärts."
1932Primarily for political reasons postpones his return to Berlin. Anti-semitic resistance on the part of the Prussian Academy is disguised as formal problems with him. As Schönberg is forced in June to return to the uncertain environment of Berlin, the situation of Jews in Germany is made dramatically clear to him. Breakthrough to political-Jewish involvement. Birth of his daughter Dorothea Nuria on 7 May in Barcelona.
World première of the Four Songs for Voice and Orchestra, op. 22, under the direction of Hans Rosbaud (Soloist: Hertha Reinecke) in Frankfurt am Main on 21 February. In Barcelona, in March, completes the second act of "Moses and Aron." The opera, conceived as a monumental Gesamtkunstwerk, with extensive stage directions and descriptions of the action, remains unfinished. The third act consists only of the libretto and a few musical sketches.
1933Leaves Berlin. Excluded from the Academy by the Nazis. Reconverts to Judaism in Paris in July. Travels to the United States with his wife and daughter. Arrives in New York on 31 October. Teaches in Boston and New York at the Malkin Conservatory.
At the request of Pablo Casals, composes the Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in D Major, in a free adaptation of the Concerto for Harpsichord of Georg Matthias Monn (completed on 4 January). Between January and February, composes Three Songs for Voice and Piano, op. 48, after texts by Jakob Haringer. In March, sketches the beginning of a piano concerto. In April, composes the Birthday Canons and dedicates them to Carl Engel. At the request of the Kolisch Quartet, composes a Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra in B Major in a free adaptation of the Concerto Grosso, op. 6, No. 7, of Georg Friedrich Händel. Completes it in September in Arcachon, far from political turmoil.
1934Conducts "Pelleas and Melisande" in Boston. Lectures at the University of Chicago. Moves from Boston to New York, and from New York to Los Angeles. Lectures about the predicament of the Jews.
In Prague on 26 September, world première of the Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra after Händel, performed by the Kolisch Quartet and the Prague Radio Orchestra. Composes the Suite for String Orchestra (dated 23 October) at the request of Martin Bernstein.
1935Lectures at the University of Southern California. Teaches privately. John Cage becomes his pupil.
Arrangement of the First Chamber Symphony for Orchestra, op. 9B (dated 18 April). World première of the Suite for String Orchestra under the baton of Otto Klemperer in Los Angeles on 18 May. World première of the Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra after Monn as part of a gala concert for Jean Sibelius in London on 7 November (Soloist: Emanuel Feuermann). First performance of the Chamber Symphony, op. 9B, conducted by the composer, in Los Angeles on 27 December.
1936Is named professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. Settles in Brentwood Park in West Los Angeles, where he lives for the remainder of his life. Befriends George Gershwin.Ronald Schoenberg
At the request of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, composes the Fourth String Quartet, op. 37, between 27 April and 26 July. In September, completes the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, op. 36, begun the year before.
1937The anthology "Schoenberg," edited by Merle Armitage, appears in May. Among the authors are Ernst Krenek, Leopold Stokowski, Berthold Viertel and Eduard Steuermann. Birth of his son Ronald on 26 May.
World première of the IV. String Quartet, op. 37, performed by the Kolisch-Quartet, in Los Angeles on 9 January. Between May and September arranges the Piano Quartet in G Minor, op. 25, by Johannes Brahms, for Orchestra.
1938Schönberg's daughter Gertrude Greissle and her family as well as Alexander Zemlinsky and his wife arrive in New York.
First performance of the Brahms-Arrangement written the previous year, under the direction of Otto Klemperer, in Los Angeles on 7 May. At the request of Jacob Sonderling, a rabbi from Los Angeles, writes the choral composition "Kol Nidre," op. 39, between 1 August and 22 September. Schönberg develops his own melodic version out of the traditional model of the Hebrew prayer sung on the eve of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The world première takes place in Los Angeles under the direction of the composer on 4 October (the eve of Yom Kippur 1938).
1939Attempts to procure affidavits for relatives and friends for permission to enter the United States. Georg Schönberg and his family live in Mödling under the worst conditions until the end of the war.
At the request of the conductor Fritz Stiedry, completes the Second Chamber Symphony, op. 38, begun in 1906 shortly after the First Chamber Symphony, op. 9.
1940Conducts "Pierrot lunaire" for a recording.Lawrence Schoenberg
World première of the Violin Concerto, op. 36, under the direction of Leopold Stokowski (Soloist: Louis Krasner), in Philadelphia on 6 December.
1941Birth of his son Lawrence on 27 January. Arnold, Gertrud and Nuria are granted American citizenship. Death of his brother Heinrich in Salzburg.
Two fragments of a sonata for organ (dated 7 August). Between August and October, composes Variations on a Recitative for Organ, op. 40.
1942Schönberg gives summer courses at UCLA. News of successful performances of "Pierrot Lunaire" in London.
On 12 January, completes the Second Chamber Symphony, op. 38B, in a Version for Two Pianos. Between 12 March and 12 June, composes the "Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte," op. 41, for String Quartet, Piano and Narrator, commissioned by the League of Composers for their 20th anniversary. In the second half of the year, at the request of his pupil, Oscar Levant, composes the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, op. 42 (completed on 29 December). In September, completes the textbook "Models for Beginners in Composition."
1943Teaches at summer courses. Works on music-pedagogical texts. Designs model of a mechanism for drawing musical staves.
Between 20 June and 3 July, at the request of Carl Engel, President of the publishing house Schirmer in New York, composes Theme and Variations for Band, op. 43. This challenging work by an outstanding contemporary composer is intended to enrich the repertoire of American wind orchestras and at the same time, to contribute to Schönberg's popularity in America. In August, Schönberg's son-in-law, Felix Greissle, suggests that he also arrange the new composition for symphony orchestra, since the complexity of the wind-writing would exceed the technical capabilities of most American ensembles. By October, Theme and Variations, op. 43B, are completed.
1944Schönberg is named professor emeritus of the University of California at Los Angeles. He continues to teach privately.
World première of the Piano Concerto, op. 42, under the baton of Leopold Stokowski (Soloist: Eduard Steuermann) on 6 February in New York. World première of Theme and Variations for Orchestra, op. 43B, under the baton of Serge Koussevitzky on 20 October in Boston.
1945Application for a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete "Moses and Aron," the "Jakobsleiter" and textbooks is rejected.
In August, at the request of Leopold Stokowski, composes the Fanfare on Motivs from the Gurrelieder (unfinished) for the Hollywood Bowl Concerts. Between 21 and 30 September, commissioned by Nathaniel Shilkret, composes the Prelude op. 44 as part of the "Genesis-Suite", a cooperative composition by Shilkret, Alexander Tansmann, Darius Milhaud, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Ernst Toch and Igor Stravinsky, which has its world première under the direction of Werner Janssen in Los Angeles on 18 November. The Guggenheim Foundation rejects Schönberg's application for a grant for the completion of "Moses und Aron", "Die Jakobsleiter" and textbooks.
1946Hearttack. Lectures at the University of Chicago.
Commissioned by the Music Department of Harvard University, composes the String Trio, op. 45 (June-September) for a symposium in Spring 1947. With the completion of the work, Schönberg at the same time writes into the musical texture his traumatic experience of a heart attack that he suffered in August. Thomas Mann writes of this in the "Entstehung des Doktor Faustus". World première of Theme and Variationsen for Wind Orchestra, op. 43, performed by the Goldman Band in New York on 27 June. Writes the textbook "Structural Functions of Harmony."
1947Elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
World première of the String Trio, op. 45, with members of the Walden String Quartet, at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In August, commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, composes the cantata "A Survivor from Warsaw", op. 46. The text, written by Schönberg, (German/English with prayer in Hebrew) harks back to an idea suggested by the choreographer Corinne Chochem, and has the Shoah as its theme.
1948"Dr. Faustus" controversy with Thomas Mann Gives lectures in Santa Barbara.
Three Folk Songs, op. 49, for mixed chorus (24 and 26 June). Completes the textbook "Fundamentals of Musical Composition." World première of "A Survivor from Warsaw", op. 46, conducted by Kurt Frederick, in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 4 November.
1949Is unable to travel to Europe to attend celebrations of his 75th birthday due to poor health. Receives the title “citizen of the City of Vienna.”Arnold Schönberg
Composes a Fantasy for Violin with Piano Accompaniment, op. 47, for the violinist Adolf Koldofsky, which is given its world première in September on the occasion of Schönberg's 75th birthday. In April, Schönberg sets "Dreimal tausend Jahre" to music as op. 50A, for mixed chorus a capella; the text is from the volume of poetry "Jordanlieder" by Dagobert D. Rune. The world première takes place on 29 October in Fylklingen, with the Lilla Kammarkören under the direction of Eric Ericson. "Israel Exists Again" for mixed chorus and orchestra (10 June) At the end of June, composes Three Folk Songs, op. 49, and in the process, refers back to the folk tunes arranged for the Peters Edition in the late 1920's.
1950At the beginning of the year, Schönberg brings "Dr. Faustus"-controversy with Thomas Mann to an end. State of health deteriorates noticeably. Writes his will.
Between 20 June and 2 July, at the request of Chemjo Vinaver, who prevails upon him for a contribution to his "Anthology of Jewish Music", Schönberg composes the Psalm 130 "De Profundis", op. 50B, for mixed chorus a capella. (World première in Cologne on 29 January 1954, with the Cologne Radio Chorus under the direction of Bernhard Zimmermann.) In September, writes texts for "Psalms, Prayers and Other Conversations with God" (published posthumously by Rudolf Kolisch in 1956 under the title "Modern Psalms"). From these, between 29 September and 2 October, sets a "Modern Psalm", op. 50C, for Speaker, mixed chorus and Orchestra. (World première under the baton of Nino Sanzogno in Cologne on 29 May 1956.) Publication of the collection of essays "Style and Idea", edited by Schönberg's pupil Dika Newlin, by the Philosophical Library in New York.
1951Is named Honorary President of the Israeli Academy of Music in Jerusalem. Arnold Schönberg dies on 13 July in Los Angeles.
The "Dance Around the Golden Calf" from "Moses and Aron" receives its world première under the baton of Hermann Scherchen in Darmstadt on 2 July.
Schoenberg - Notturno for strings -1896
Arnold Schönberg - Wer ich bin - Who I Am (French)...
A microscopic tribute to a Joris Ivens's 1929 Dutc...
Arnold Schoenberg, Drei Stücke für Kammerorchester...
Schoenberg conducts his Lied der Waldtaube (1934)