Exhibition – I return to Vienna when I compose

The exil.arte Center extends its Exhibition
“I return to Vienna when I compose”

with further estates 
Theo Buchwald
Robert Freistadtl
Wilhelm Grosz
André Singer
Jan Urban
Hans Winterberg

and with a 
Special Exhibition Gedenkjahre 1918, 1933, 1938

„Das Wort entschlief, als jene Welt erwachte“
(Karl Kraus, 1933)

Opening hours 2020

January 1st – June 30th
Tuesday – Saturday from 15:00 to 19:00 hrs

July 2nd – July 31st
Tuesday – Friday from 12:00 to 16:00 hrs
The exhibition is closed in August!

September 1st – September 30th
Tuesday – Friday from 12:00 to 16:00 hrs

October 1st – December 18th
Tuesday – Saturday from 15:00 to 19:00 hrs

The exhibition stays closed on holidays!


An entire generation of younger musicians was deprived by this cultural catastrophe of ever being admitted to the mdw.

The exil.arte Center of the mdw is situated in exactly the same building where talented musicians studied and pioneering lecturers taught. Between 1933 and 1938, many of the mdw’s most gifted individuals were forced to flee the Nazi terror. Some managed to continue their careers, while others found they had lost the very foundations of their work. An entire generation of younger musicians was deprived by this cultural catastrophe of ever being admitted to the mdw. The first exhibition opening the newly founded exil.arte Center at the mdw focuses on the lost musical legacy and the fates of these many and diverse lives.

  • The first Jew to join the Vienna’s Boys’ Choir; studied at the mdw and later in exile worked as a farmer in New Zealand before becoming one of Bruckner’s greatest interpreters, working solely with provincial orchestras which until his recordings were released were largely unknown. –  Georg Tintner
  • A student at the mdw, subsequently deported by the Nazis yet managed to escape from both Dachau and Buchenwald. In exile he later founded both the Manila Symphony Orchestra and the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra. He remained an active pedagogue in the Far East while at the same time working as Projects’ Director at UCLA. –  Herbert Zipper
  • Studied at the mdw, performed with her father, leader of one of the most renowned quartets and concert masters of the Vienna Philharmonic. Exiled to England following the dismissal of her father, she returned to the continent as their only means of support before her arrest and subsequent death at Auschwitz, where nevertheless, she survived long enough to conduct and manage the all-women orchestra. – Alma Rosé
  • Excluded from his high school as a Jew and unable even to apply for a place at the mdw he fled to the United States, where he became a music critic for the Los Angeles Times; founded and directed the music department at Loyola Marymount University while composing in private. His compositions have only recently come to light with the release of 6 CDs. He continues to live and work in Los Angeles as a youthful 97 year old. – Walter Arlen
  • Also excluded from high school and unable to audition for the mdw; exile to the United States meant leaving Nazi Vienna and his first love who fled to Switzerland. Following a successful career as an accountant, he returned to composition only after being reunited with his lost girlfriend some forty years later. – Robert Fürstenthal
  • A child prodigy, and a world renowned composer, he taught at the mdw for a short time. In American exile, he reluctantly saw his only means of survival as that of Hollywood composer, where his work resulted in such a fundamental paradigm shift that following his departure from the studios, his main output would be dismissed as “movie music”. His natural musical idiom perfectly matched the needs of American high-emotion cinema. This meant that movie music actually sounded like him, not the other way around. – Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Only some of the over 50 different stories are told at the exhibition “I return to Vienna when I compose”