Author: Madeleine Fremuth

The catalogue to the exhibition “Fritz Kreisler” has arrived!

The catalogue to the exhibition: Fritz Kreisler – a cosmopolitan in exile. From child prodigy to ” King of Violonists”

The exhibition at the mdw’s Exilarte Center shows the different stages of life of one of the greatest violin virtuosos of the 20th century, whose success story started in Vienna and ended in New York. Fritz Kreisler was cosmopolitan on the one hand and affected by the fate of exiles on the other.

On the occasion of the 10th International Fritz Kreisler Violin Competition, which has been held at the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna since 1979, the new exhibition of the Exilarte Center of the mdw was developed – to present the life and importance of Fritz Kreisler to the public.

After the Nazis had banned all of his performances and recordings due to his Jewish origins, he emigrated to the USA in September 1939 and became an American citizen in 1943. In addition to his spectacular successes from childhood to the end of his career, the exhibition sheds light on him as a Jew and exile. The exhibition also shows Kreisler’s philanthropic and charitable activities. Material newly discovered in the course of the research complements the difficult research situation.


Ulrike Anton 
Amy Biancolli 
Alfred Dümling 
Gerold Gruber 
Michael Haas 
Nobuko Nakamura 
Matthias Schmidt 
Eric Wen


Prof. Dr. Gerold Gruber (Chairman of the Exilarte Center)


Verlag Böhler

If you are interested in buying, please contact:

New Exhibition at the Exilarte Center beginning December, 2023: Triangel of Viennese Tradition I Zemlinsky – Schönberg – Hoffmann

Triangel of Viennese Tradition
Zemlinsky – Schönberg – Hoffmann

Inspired by Arnold Schönberg’s 150th birthday, celebrated around the world, the new exhibition at the mdw’s Exilarte Center sheds light on the social and cultural environment of the founder of the Second Viennese School. In particular, attention is paid to Alexander von Zemlinsky, who taught Schönberg and introduced him to the Viennese music circles, and to Richard Hoffmann, who was a pupil of Schönberg and later became his assistant.

These three personalities, their professional, friendly and musical connections as well as their fates during the time of the Nazi regime are brought closer using life documents, photos and music manuscripts.

Countless other free spirits of the early 20th century from music, literature, fine arts and architecture as well as wealthy art lovers and patrons met for artistic exchange and lavish festivals in the artists’ colony planned by Josef Hoffmann in what was already the posh 19th district of Vienna. Most of them had Jewish roots and were persecuted by the Nazis. Many were able to emigrate, many died in the concentration camps.

Dazzling personalities such as Alma Mahler-Werfel, Gustav Mahler, Carl Moll, Koloman Moser, Hugo Henneberg, Sigmund Freud, Egon and Emmy Wellesz, Emil and Yella Hertzka, Richard Gerstl, Adolf Loos and Arnold Schönberg inspired one another in this Art Nouveau villa colony, which will be recreated as a model for the exhibition.

House of Zemlinsky ( Drawing by Walter Loos)

Arnold Schönberg was one of the first to emigrate in 1933, Richard Hoffmann in 1935 and Alexander Zemlinksy after the “Anschluss” in 1938… How much does the forced exile change a person, an artist in his work? In the exhibition we take a look at the respective oeuvre before and after fleeing into an uncertain future.

The score for one of Arnold Schönberg’s best-known works, A Survivor from Warsaw, written in the USA in 1947, is contextualised in the exhibition. Alexander Zemlinsky, who had previously written large symphonic works, has almost fallen silent as a result of the persecution: on display are the two song collections that he created in New York from 1938 (op. 27) and 1940 (without op.).

The question of what life in Europe would have been like for millions of people affected without Hitler’s National Socialist racial doctrine can no longer be answered and the loss of artistic potential in Europe as a result cannot be measured. We show the arbitrary bureaucracy with which Jews and people critical of the system were harassed. Documents such as Zemlinsky’s Reich Flight Tax Notice and Alien Registration Receipt Card with fingerprint can be seen in the original.

Zemlinsky and Schönberg managed to escape to the USA by transatlantic steamship, Richard Hoffmann emigrated to New Zealand. Other flight fates, paths to places of exile for women, men and children are reconstructed in the exhibition.

Many composers and musicians from the society around Zemlinsky, Schönberg and Hoffmann did not succeed in finding freedom. They lived underground (e.g. Josef Polnauer, Olga Novakovic and others) or were murdered by the Nazis (e.g. Schönberg’s family members or Schönberg’s friend and publisher Henri Hinrichsen).

“Triangle of the Viennese Tradition” is the title of the connection between three musicians who shared a similar fate as composers, educators and friends: they were of Jewish origin and therefore outcasts and exiles.

Admission free!

Opening hours:

Tuesday – Friday 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Saturday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m

Holidays: closed

Exilarte Center of the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna Lothringerstrasse 181. Floor 1030 Vienna

Concert Series „Echo of the Unheard“ I December 12, 2023 I André Singer and Hans Winterberg

© Exilarte

Piano trios are an important part of the compositional work of André Singer and Hans Winterberg. The planned concert evening will feature the two still largely unknown but musically fascinating trios, interpreted by pianist David Hausknecht, violinist Floris Willem and cellist Cristina Basili.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 7 p.m.
Palais Ehrbar – small Ehrbar Saal
Mühlgasse 28
1040 Vienna

Admission free! /


Floris Willem, Geige 
Cristina Basili, Cello 
David Hausknecht, Klavier


Hans Winterberg – Sudetensuite
André Singer – Klaviertrio Op.32
Antonin Dvořák- Klaviertrio „Dumky“ Nr.4, Op. 90


Prof. Dr. Gerold Gruber (founder of and head of the Exilarte Center)

Concert Series „Echo of the Unheard“ I November 22, 2023 I Hans Winterberg Festival

© Exilarte

Wednesday, November 22, 2023, 7 p.m.
Palais Ehrbar – small Ehrbar Saal
Mühlgasse 28
1040 Vienna

Admission free! /


INEO Quartet: Nadia Kalmykova, violin | Ljuba Kalmykova, violin | Yan-Lok ​​Hoi, viola | Constantin Paul Siepermann, cello
Duo: Weronika Strugala, cello | Zuzanna Basińska, piano
Quintet: Raika Yamakage, violin | Ayaka Matsudomi, clarinet | Xiaocheng Wang, clarinet | Max Pichler, Horn | Gabriel Meloni – piano

Works by Hans Winterberg

Sonata for cello and piano
String Quartet
Quintet for violin, 2 clarinets, horn and piano (1935)


Prof. Dr. Gerold Gruber (founder of and head of the Exilarte Center)

From Prague to Bad Tölz: Fascinating Piano Music by Hans Winterberg I November 19, 2023

Sunday, November 19, 2023, 6:00 p.m.
Kurhaus Bad Tölz
Ludwigstr. 25
83646 Bad Tölz

Tickets: and

The composer and pianist Hans (Hanuš) Winterberg, born in Prague in 1901, found his final resting place in Bad Tölz in 1991. Winterberg, a student of Alexander von Zemlinsky, was part of Czechoslovakia’s musical elite in the 1930s and was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp on January 26, 1945 because of his Jewish descent. Winterberg’s fascinating oeuvre has only recently been rediscovered and published in a collaboration between the Exilarte Center of the mdw and the publishing house Boosey & Hawkes.

The internationally renowned English pianist Jonathan Powell plays a pioneering role in this Winterberg renaissance. The winner of the German Record Critics’ Prize in 2021 places Winterberg in the context of Czech piano music and builds a bridge between Czech and contemporary Viennese traditions. A highlight of the recital is the premiere of Winterberg’s 4th piano sonata.

 Afterwards, a discussion will examine Winterberg’s biography, work and rediscovery of his legacy against the background of the historical developments of the 20th century.


Event in cooperation with the Bad Tölz Singing and Music School, Peter Puskas, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Czech Center Munich, Cultural Department for the Bohemian Countries in the Adalbert Stifter Association


Jonathan Powell, piano


Bernhard Neuhoff, BR Klassik

In conversation:

Peter Kreitmeir (grandson of Hans Winterberg)

Petr Brod (journalist, London – Munich – Prague)

Michael Haas (Exilarte Center of the mdw, Vienna)

Frank Harders-Wuthenow (Boosey & Hawkes, Berlin)

Lubomir Spurny (Masaryk University, Brno)

Concert Series „Echo of the Unheard“ I October 17, 2023

© Exilarte

The renowned duo – cellist Vida Vujic and pianist Sybilla Konstantinova – is dedicated to the cello sonatas of Walter Würzburger and Walter Bricht, whose papers are in the archives of the Exilarte Center

Tuesday, October 17, 2023, 7 p.m.
Palais Ehrbar – small Ehrbar Saal
Mühlgasse 28
1040 Vienna

Admission free! /


Vida Vujic, cello
Sybilla Konstantinova, piano


Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata for piano and cello op.69 A major

Walter Würzburger: Sonata for cello and piano (1989)

Walter Bricht: Sonata for cello and piano (1936)


Prof. Dr. Gerold Gruber (founder of and head of the Exilarte Center)

ORF Long Night of Museums I October 7, 2023

This year’s “ORF Long Night of Museums” will be held throughout Austria on Saturday, October 7, 2023.

The Exilarte Center of the mdw is pleased to take part again. This year the center is once again offering lectures, concerts and guided tours of the exhibition “Fritz Kreisler – A Cosmopolitan in Exile. From child prodigy to ‘king of violinists’” and through our permanent exhibitions.

SPECIAL EVENTS as part of the ORF Long Night of Museums

1) “The songwriting of Erich Wolfgang Korngold”, lecture with music (start: 6:15 p.m.)

Opening: Gerold Gruber, head of the Exilarte Center

Kurt Arrer has been intensively involved with the composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold and his father Julius Korngold for decades. He is considered an expert in the field of transferring Julius Korngold’s difficult-to-read script. The lecture by the contemporary historian Arrer will be dedicated to the composer’s songwriting. Accompanying the lecture, singer Josipa Bainac will interpret works by Erich Wolfgang Korngold with pianist David Hausknecht.

2) Exilarte Prize Winners Concert (Start: 8:00 p.m.)

Every two years a competition takes place in Schwerin that is exclusively dedicated to ostracized music. Exilarte awards a special prize that gives the winners the opportunity to take part in a concert in Vienna. The excellent duo with Ruben Mirzoian (clarinet) and Philipp Thönes (piano) were particularly convincing. They will interpret works by Joseph Horovitz (who died in London last year) and Paul Hindemith, among others.

3) “Tif vi di Nakht” with Ethel Merhaut and friends (start: 10:00 p.m.)

While hits like “That only exists once” or “In der Bar zum Krokodil” became absolute box office hits in Austria and Germany, Yiddish songs like “Glik” and “Zog es mir nokh amol” caused sell-outs in New York in the 1930s theater halls. “Tif wie die Nacht”, named after a tango by Abraham Ellstein, spans a musical arc from Europe to America and connects the German-speaking and Yiddish music scenes of the golden 20s and roaring 30s. Together with her outstanding ensemble, Ethel Merhaut strolls virtuosically between chanson, jazz and swing and takes the audience into the golden era of film and entertainment music. Music by Richard Werner Heymann, Abraham Ellstein, Robert Stolz, Sholom Secunda. Texts by Molly Picon, Fritz Löhner-Beda, Peter Herz, Bella Meissel…

4) Quick tours through the exhibition (from 6:30 p.m.)

Fritz Kreisler – A cosmopolitan in exile. From child prodigy to “king of violinists”

The life and work of the famous violin virtuoso Fritz Kreisler are presented in the new exhibition at the Exilarte Center with pictures, sheet music, life and sound documents. When the National Socialists came to power in Germany, the star violinist’s performances were accompanied by disruptions and calls for a boycott due to his Jewish origins. His compositions were also no longer played. In September 1939 he immigrated to the USA, where he settled in New York with his wife Harriet.


Tickets can be purchased directly at the Exilarte Center!

Exilarte center of the mdw, Lothringerstraße 18 / 1st floor, 1030 Vienna

Regular: € 15 (incl. VAT)Reduced:* € 12 (incl. VAT)

Free entry for children up to 12 years*Reduced tickets for schoolchildren, students, senior citizens, people with disabilities, military servants and Ö1 Club members. Please have relevant proof ready on site.

You’ll find further information here.

„TRANSFORMATION“ Dora Pejačević, Karl Kraus and Arnold Schönberg I October 04, 2023

© Arnold Schönberg Center, © Museum of History, Našice; Kroatien, © Open source

Festive Concert

Under the patronage of the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in the Republic of Austria in cooperation with the Exilarte Center of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Croatian Cultural Association in Vienna “Matica Hrvatska Beč” and Association Tonwerk – Forum for New Music

Wednesday, October 04, 2023 at 7:00 p.m

Austrian Academy of Sciences / ballroom (2nd floor)
Doktor-Ignaz-Seipel-Platz 2
1010 Vienna

Admission free!


H.E. Daniel Glunčić, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia


ao Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. hc Gerold W. Gruber, founder of the Exilarte Center


Akos Banlaky: Homage to Dora Pejačević – 2 songs from the Suite op. 63 after Antun Gustav Matoš 

Arnold Schönberg: String Quartet in D major (1897)

Dora Pejačević: “Transformation” after Karl Kraus and “Love Song” after Rainer Maria Rilke

Dora Pejačević: Piano Quintet in B minor, Op. 40


Motus String Quartet

Tim de Vries, violin | Karla Križ, violin | Guilherme Caldas, viola | Domonkos Hartmann, cello

Josipa Bainac, mezzo-soprano

David Hausknecht, piano


10 years of Croatia in the EU (2023) | 100th anniversary of the death of composer Dora Pejačević (2023) | Croatian Presidium IHRA (2023) | 150th birthday of Karl Kraus (2024) | 150th birthday of Arnold Schönberg (2024) | 150th birthday of Antun Gustav Matoš (2023)


In the oeuvre of the Croatian composer Dora Pejačević (1885-1923), the composition Metamorphosis occupies a special place both because of its musical significance and because of the context in which it was created: the vocal work for alto, violin and organ or piano was based on verses by the Austrian writer and journalist Karl Kraus (1874-1936) in the spring of 1915 and was intended for the wedding of their mutual friend Sidonia Nádherný von Borutin, which did not take place. Kraus planned to perform the composition in Vienna in 1916, but due to the delay in the score and problems with the performers, the performance did not take place. Correspondence between Kraus and Nádherný recorded that Kraus showed the composition to Arnold Schönberg, who – despite his skepticism about a woman composer – praised the work and advocated its performance.

Metamorphosis by Dora Pejačević is one of the characteristic works of modernism; Schönberg particularly pointed out the interlude before the beginning of the text “Today is Spring”. Encountering Kraus’ poetry was obviously stimulating for Dora Pejačević’s departure from traditional patterns and periodic form towards a freer flow of musical phrases and expressive harmonies.

Out of:

Kos, Koraljka. “Dora Pejačević, Karl Kraus And Arnold Schoenberg.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 50, no. 1/2 (2019): 255-70.

International Symposium “Music and Exile in a Global Perspective” | May 30, 2023; Reykjavik, Iceland

A symposium on “Music and Exile in a Global Perspective” took place on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 in Reykjavík, Iceland.

The symposium is part of the three-year research project “Musicians in Exile from Nazi Germany and Austria and their Role in the Development of Musical Life in Iceland, 1935-1974”. Gerold Gruber and Josipa Bainac Hausknecht gave the lecture “Art Creates Awareness: Estates of the Exilarte Center Vienna”.

© Exilarte, Josipa Hausknecht

In Reykjavik, Gerold Gruber visited the family of the Icelandic exile composer Victor Urbancic, who was born in Vienna in 1903. He studied composition, conducting and musicology at the Academy for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna (today’s mdw). Already during his studies he worked as a conductor for incidental music at the Theater in der Josefstadt. From 1926 to 1933 he worked as a solo répétiteur, operetta conductor and finally opera conductor at the Stadttheater Mainz. When Hitler came to power in 1933, Urbancic was already with Dr. Married Melitta Grunbaum. The family moved back to Austria. From 1934 Urbancic continued his teaching activities at the conservatory of the Musikverein für Steiermark in Graz. Just six months later he was appointed deputy director of the conservatory and quickly assumed an important position in Graz concert life. Around 1936, the Graz Conservatory in particular became a nucleus of the National Socialists’ “new ethnic music education”. After Hitler’s troops invaded Austria, the family was forced to flee. This is how Urbancic ended up in Iceland, where he was considered one of the pioneers of modern musical life.

Most of Victor Urbancic’s estate is located in Reykjavik. Sibyl Urbancic (the daughter of Victor Urbancic) will hand over her father’s estate, which is still in her Viennese apartment, to the Exilarte Zentrum.

Julius Bürger – expelled and rediscovered I A Viennese Composer returns I August 18, 2023

© Theresa Wey

The RSO under the direction of Gottfried Rabl presents works by Julius Bürger.

Read a report about the concert here.

Friday, August 18, 2023, 7:30 p.m.

Großer Sendesaal des ORF (Large broadcasting hall of the ORF)
Argentinierstraße 30A
A-1040 Wien


Anna Litvinenko, Cello
Matija Meic, Baritone
Gottfried Rabl, Conductor
Gerold Gruber, Moderation 


Adagio für Streichorchester (1978)

Konzert für Violoncello und Orchester (1932)

Legende, Orchestral song for baritone and symphonic orchestra (1919)

Stille der Nacht, Orchestral song for baritone and symphonic orchestra (1923)

Eastern Symphony (1931)

Admission free!

Registration at: