Schönberg Estate is World Heritage The estate of the Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg (1874–1951) has been inscribed on the UNESCO “Memory of the World” Register.
Schönberg is ranked among the influential personalities in 20th-century music and his estate is preserved at the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna. His name as a composer is inextricably linked with the transgression of the major-minor tonal system and also with the epochal “Method of composing with twelve tones which are related only with one another” (twelve-tone method), with which he deeply influenced the music of our time. Schönberg also left a world-class legacy as a painter, teacher and music theoretician. The founder of the “Viennese School” taught significant composers in Europe and America, including Alban Berg, Anton Webern, Hanns Eisler, Viktor Ullmann and John Cage. The Schönberg Estate is one of the most renowned and comprehensive collections of works by an Austrian 20th-century composer and provides a broad spectrum of research for musicologists, art scholars, teachers, musicians and historians. The collection contains music manuscripts, writings, paintings and drawings, photographs, Schönberg’s library, recordings, letters and documents of cultural history. Following the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna (Johannes Brahms) and Vienna City Library (Franz Schubert), the Arnold Schönberg Center is now the third Austrian institution with a composer’s estate of world heritage status. This underlines the international importance of Austria as a land of music and also recognizes the preservation activities pursued by the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna since 1998. The “Memory of the World” Register onto which the Schönberg Estate has now been inscribed serves to protect documents and thus corresponds to the World Heritage List of monuments and landscapes. “The guiding idea of the World Heritage Convention is to view the outstanding cultural and natural sites of this world not as being owned by a specific country, but instead as intellectual property of humankind as a whole.” (UNESCO) UNESCO Memory of the World Register