Arnold Schönberg writing notes on a sheet of paper, Los Angeles, ca. 1935

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Schönberg’s 150th

Vienna is regarded as the capital of musical modernism, as embodied by Arnold Schönberg’s revolutionary world of sounds. Schönberg and Vienna have a close association, a connection that is currently very much in evidence in this anniversary year 2024.

An icon of musical modernism

Schönberg (13.9.1874, Vienna – 13.7.1951, Los Angeles) was the pioneer of modernism; his compositions transported his contemporaries to distant worlds. Schönberg was as attentive as he was uncompromising in shaping his epoch, and his music and attitude are still as relevant as ever today. He was also many things at the same time, a polymath in fact: composer, writer, teacher, theorist, painter, inventor, leading figure of the Viennese School and creator of the twelve-tone method, a turning point in the history of music post-1900.

Schönberg 150 – a whole lot of Schönberg

The anniversary program is full to the brim, with many of Vienna’s cultural institutions getting involved. This will enable visitors to immerse themselves in the composer’s work and his way of thinking. Two major players are coordinating and curating the “Schönberg 150” anniversary year: the Arnold Schönberg Center and Wien Modern, Austria’s largest festival of modern music.

The Arnold Schönberg Center manages the estate of the founding father of twelve-tone music. The freely accessible archive comprises 20,000 pages of music and text manuscripts as well as diaries, concert programs, instruments and much more. Among the 3,500 photographs are Man Ray’s portrait of Schönberg, as well as shots of Alban Berg, Anton Webern, Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin. Music lovers can familiarize themselves with Schönberg, his ideas and his work in this dynamic educational and cultural center. Committed Schönberg fans will find a unique wealth of music manuscripts, writings, correspondence and scholarly materials.

Nuria Schoenberg Nono is the daughter of the late composer and President of the Arnold Schönberg Center Private Foundation in Vienna. She had this to say about the anniversary year:

It gives me and my family great pleasure that my father’s work will be heard in many different places to mark the 150th anniversary of Arnold Schönberg’s birth. He always expressed his emotions through his music and saw it as an evolution rather than a revolution. I hope that all the artists and the audience will enjoy lots of memorable performances.

Hundreds of Schönberg events in 2024

“Schönberg 150” comprises stage performances, readings, events, international master classes and educational workshops: 26 institutions and partners are contributing to the anniversary with 129 events in the first half of the year alone.

Schönberg exhibitions

  • Arnold Schönberg & Karl Kraus (17.1. – 10.5.2024, Arnold Schönberg Center)
  • Listening to love with Schönberg (29.5.2024 – 14.2.2025, Arnold Schönberg Center)
  • Triangle of Viennese Tradition (5.3. – 20.12.2024, Exilarte Center of the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna)

Schönberg performances

Musical highlights include a special focus on Schönberg at the Vienna Music Society, concerts and performances at the Wiener Konzerthaus and at the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

MusikTheater an der Wien has announced an extravagant evening for the senses entitled “Friday the Thirteenth” at the Reaktor on April 26, 2024. The superb Arnold Schoenberg Choir will also be taking part.

On behalf of the Wien Modern Festival – the 36th edition of which was extremely successful with around 30,000 visitors in 2023 – pianist Marino Formenti will be out and about in public spaces this spring with a piano, microphone and camera to put one of Arnold Schönberg’s famous aspirations into practice: “... that people know and whistle my melodies”. In November, contemporary approaches will take center stage at the main Wien Modern festival.

The Vienna Festival has launched the Academy of Second Modernism, a global platform for female composers with the aim of ensuring that more works by female composers are performed. Schönberg had 50 forgotten or previously unheard female composition students, so the same number of female composers will be invited by the Vienna Festival between now and 2029. The first of them will present their works on June 8 and 9, 2024, which will be performed by Klangforum Wien.

The summer concerts performed by the Superar School Choirs at the MuTh on June 4 and 5 will bring the first half of the year to a close.

Arnold Schönberg, Prague, 1924; photo by Atelier Schlosser & Wenisch
© Arnold Schönberg Center, Wien. - Arnold Schönberg, Prag, 1924, Foto: Atelier Schlosser & Wenisch.

Info & Program, together with the anniversary brochure, which includes the program for the first half of 2024, as well as a guide to Schönberg events all over the world, introductions to his works, photos, a Schönberg profile and the short film “Arnold Schönberg – Who am I”.

Some of the institutions involved in “Schönberg 150”:

Arnold Schönberg Center / Education Directorate for Vienna / Exilarte Center of the mdw / KlangBildKlang / Kunstraumarcade / mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna / Mödlinger Künstlerbund / MusikTheater an der Wien / Vienna Music Society / ORF Ö1 / ORF RadioKulturhaus / PodiumFestival / RSO Wien / Staatstheater Augsburg / Superar / Vienna Festival / Wiener Konzerthaus / Vienna Philharmonic / Vienna State Opera / Wiener Symphoniker / Wiener Volkshochschulen / Wien Modern / Wir sind Wien. Festival / Yale University School of Music

Arnold Schönberg Center

Zaunergasse 1-3
1030 Vienna
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    • Entrance to Zaunergasse 1

  • Vienna City Card

    • Benefits of the Vienna City Card: -20%

      Additional information on the offer:

      Standard ticket price: 6€

  • Opening times

    • Mo, 10:00 - 17:00
    • Tu, 10:00 - 17:00
    • We, 10:00 - 17:00
    • Th, 10:00 - 17:00
    • Fr, 10:00 - 17:00
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps (Swinging doors )
    • Elevator available
      • Door 90 cm wide
    • Further information
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Tours for visitors with special needs on request.

    • Comments

      Access to all exhibition rooms: no steps.

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