Arnold 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 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: enciphalitis).
Move to Taborstraße 48. Enrollment in primary school (Kleine Pfarrgasse 33).
Birth of his brother Heinrich on 29 April. Violin lessons.
"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)
Samuel Schönberg acquires a commission and collection agency in the Kleine Pfarrgasse 31.
Enrollment in the k.k. imperial secondary school in the Vereinsgasse.
Composes marches, polkas.
Death of his father from pneumonia.
Leaves 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)
Move to Große Stadtgutstraße 10.
"Meyer’s Konversationslexikon (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)
Move to Theresiengasse 5 (renamed Adambergergasse the following year).
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.
Receives a prize from "Polyhymnia" for the "Schilflied" ("Bulrush Song"). Composes Three piano pieces (1894) in October.
Quits 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.
At the suggestion of Richard Heuberger, composes the Six pieces for piano for four hands. Between 1 September and 30 November, works on a Serenade for Small Orchestra, which remains unfinished.
On 22 March, begins work on a Gavotte and Musette for String Orchestra (In Olden Style). Scherzo for String Quartet (dated 27 July). "Mädchenfrühling" ["Maiden´s Spring"] for Voice and Piano (dated 15 September). Submits a Quartet to Alexander Zemlinsky.
Converts 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 for Baritone and Piano (autumn). Zemlinsky arranges for Schönberg’s Quartet, "op. 0," to be performed by the Fitzner Quartet on 20 December at Vienna Musikverein.
Director 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 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).
Director 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 Gurre-Lieder [Gurre-Songs]. 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).
On 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, a. o. 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 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.
World première of "Verklärte Nacht" op. 4 on 18 March in the Kleiner Musikvereinssaal in Vienna, performed by the Rosé-Quartet . Interruption of work on the Gurre-Lieder. Meets Oscar Straus, Viktor Holländer, Bogumil Zepler and Robert Fischhof, for whose operettas he does instrumentation.
In 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 und Melisande" ["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 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).
Together 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 Quartett (d-Moll) [First string quartet in d-minor] op. 7, and the Sechs Orchesterlieder [Six 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.
Spends the summer with his family at Gmunden on the Traunsee.
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 Sechs Orchesterlieder [Six orchestral songs] op. 8, and on 26 September, in Gmunden on the Traunsee, the Quartett (d-Moll) [First string quartet in d-minor] op. 7. In September/October, completes the Acht Lieder für eine Singstimme und Klavier [Eight songs for voice and piano] 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.
Birth of son Georg on 22 September.
On 25 July, at Rottach-Egern on the Tegernsee, completes the Kammersymphonie für fünfzehn Soloinstrumente op. 9 [Chamber symphony for fifteen solo instruments], "the last work of my first period that existed as a single through-composed movement." Begins Zweite Kammersymphonie (in es-Moll) für kleines Orchester [Chamber Symphony No. 2 (in e-flat-minor) for small orchestra] op. 38 (completed in 1940).
Beginning of intensive pursuit of painting. Befriends painter Richard Gerstl.
Composes "Friede auf Erden" für gemischten Chor a cappella ["Peace on Earth" for mixed chorus a cappella] 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 Kammersymphonie [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 Zwei Balladen für Gesang und Klavier [Two ballads for voice and piano] 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.
Spends 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 Zweites Quartett (fis-Moll) [Second string quartet in f sharp minor] 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 œuvre: 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 Zweites Quartett (fis-Moll) [Second string quartet in f sharp minor] op. 10, performed by the Rosé-Quartet and Marie Gutheil-Schoder.
Spends 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 Drei Klavierstücke [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 "Das Buch der hängenden Gärten" [The book of the hanging gardens] 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 Fünf Orchesterstücke [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". Monodram in einem Akt ["Expectation", monodrama] 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.
Moves 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 Gurre-Lieder 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 lucky hand"] op. 18, and on 9 September, begins the composition, which will only be completed in November 1913.
Encounter 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 Gallery.
On 19 February, writes five of the Sechs kleine Klavierstücke [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 Gustav Mahler. On 7 November, he finishes the fair copy of the Gurre-Lieder score, on 9 December "Herzgewächse" [Foliage of the Heart] op. 20. World première of "Friede auf Erden" ["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.
On 21 February travels to Prague at the invitation of Zemlinsky. Conducts his "Pelleas und Melisande" op. 5 and gives a talk in memory of Gustav Mahler, who had died the previous year. Pupils and friends, among them Wassily 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" op. 5 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" op. 21 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 Fünf Orchesterstücke [Five orchestral pieces] op. 16, under the direction of Sir Henry Wood, in London on 3 September. World première of "Pierrot lunaire" op. 21 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).
World première of the Gurre-Lieder on 23 February in the Großer Musikvereinssaal in Vienna, under the direction of Franz Schreker. Sketches for pieces for chamber ensemble and orchestra.
Scandal 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.
On 9 November, completes the orchestral song "Seraphita", op. 22, No. 1, and on 20 November, the opera "Die Glückliche Hand" ["The lucky hand"] op. 18.
Conducts the Gurre-Lieder in Leipzig and the Fünf Orchesterstücke [Five orchestral pieces] op. 16, in London.
In Prague on 29 January, world première of No. 2, 5 and 6 of the Sechs Orchesterlieder [Six 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).
In 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 "Die Jakobsleiter" to be the third and fourth movements of the Symphony.
From 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.
For a military company evening, composes the March "Die eiserne Brigade" [The Iron Brigade], a 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.
Called 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 "Die Jakobsleiter" and in June begins to sketch the music, which he will continue to do in 1918 and 1921-1922.
Sketches for a composition for string septet and a piano piece.
Hanns 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.
Attends 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 Fünf Orchesterstücke [Five orchestral pieces] op. 16 for chamber orchestra, for the "Society for Private Musical Performances." In July, composes the first two piano pieces from Fünf Klavierstücke [Five piano pieces] op. 23 and sketches No. 4. In August, begins composition of the Serenade op. 24.
Conducts 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 für Klavier [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 Max Reger: Romantische Suite op. 125, for chamber ensemble. Arrangements of Mahler’s "Das Lied von der Erde" and "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen" for the Society remain unfinished. Arranges a Weihnachtsmusik [Christmas Music].
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 "Die Jakobsleiter"; the composition remains unfinished (world première in Vienna, Großer Konzerthaussaal, 16 June 1961). In November, starts work on "Gerpa," (breaks off after fourth variation). "Lied der Waldtaube" ["Song of the Wood-Dove"] from the Gurre-Songs, version for Chamber Orchestra and Voice (completion of holograph fair copy on 14 December in Mödling).
Having 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 Weimarer 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 "Lied der Waldtaube" ["Song of the Wood-Dove"], 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 Fünf Klavierstücke [Five piano pieces] op. 23, begun in 1920, and in February-March the Suite für Klavier [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 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.
On 5 July, conceives a twelve-tone row entitled "Magisches Quadrat" and takes up work again on the Quintett 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" ["The lucky 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.
In 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 Kaiserwalzer 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 Vier Stücke für gemischten Chor [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 Drei Satiren für gemischten Chor [Three satires for mixed chorus] op. 28, which he completes by 31 December before his move to Berlin.
At 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 Variationen für Orchester [Variations for orchestra] op. 31, in which, for the first time, he uses the twelve-tone technique of composition for large orchestra.
Invited 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 Wörthersee, 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 Drittes Streichquartett [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 Drittes Streichquartett [Third string quartet] op. 30, performed by the Wiener Streichquartett (Kolisch Quartet), in the presence of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, to whom it is dedicated.
At the beginning of the year trip to Cannes. At the end of January conducts Gurre-Lieder in London. Concertizes in Switzerland. In March Schönberg and his 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.
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 Variationen für Orchester [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 Präludium und Fuge in Es-Dur für Orgel (BWV 552) for Orchestra, begun in May. In the libretto for the opera "Moses und 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 Variationen für Orchester [Variations for orchestra] op. 31, with Wilhelm Furtwängler and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, in Berlin on 2 December.
January 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 Vier deutsche Volkslieder für Gesang und Klavier gesetzt [Four german folk songs], 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 Klavierstück [Piano Piece] op. 33a. On 3 August, completes the score of the one-act opera "Von heute auf morgen". Oper in einem Akt ["From Today till Tomorrow", opera in 1 act (Text by 'Max Blonda', recte Gertrud Schönberg)] 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.
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". Oper in einem Akt ["From Today till Tomorrow", opera in 1 act (Text by 'Max Blonda', recte Gertrud Schönberg)] op. 32 under Wilhelm Steinberg in Frankfurt am Main on 1 February. Between 19 February and 9 March, composes four of the Sechs Stücke für Männerchor [Six pieces for male chorus a cappella] 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 Lichtspielscene" ["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.
Conductorship in London. In 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 und 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 Klavierstück [Piano Piece] op. 33b. World première of the Sechs Stücke für Männerchor [Six pieces for male chorus a cappella] op. 35 in Hanau on 24 Oktober, with the "13er Quartett der AGV Vorwärts."
Primarily 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 Vier Lieder für Gesang und Orchester [For 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 und 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.
Leaves 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 Konzert für Violoncello und Orchester (D-Dur), in a free adaptation of the Concerto for Harpsichord of Georg Matthias Monn (completed on 4 January). Between January and February, composes Drei Lieder für tiefe Stimme (und Klavier) [Three songs for low 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 (B-flat-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.
Conducts "Pelleas und Melisande op. 5" 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.
Lectures at the University of Southern California. Teaches privately. John Cage becomes his pupil.
Arrangement of the 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 Konzert für Violoncello und Orchester (D-Dur) 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 for orchestra op. 9b, conducted by the composer, in Los Angeles on 27 December.
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.
The 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 Fourth String Quartet op. 37, performed by the Kolisch-Quartet , in Los Angeles on 9 January. Between May and September arranges the Klavierquartett g-Moll, op. 25, by Johannes Brahms, for Orchestra.
Schönberg‘s daughter Gertrude Greissle and her family as well as Arnold Schönberg und Alexander Zemlinsky, Prag 1917 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).
Attempts 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 Zweite Kammersymphonie (in es-Moll) [Chamber Symphony No. 2 (in e-flat-minor), begun in 1906 shortly after the Kammersymphonie [Chamber symphony] op. 9.
Conducts "Pierrot lunaire" op. 21 for a recording.
Two fragments of a sonata for organ (dated 7 August). Between August and October, composes Variations on a Recitative for Organ (in D) op. 40.
Schönberg gives summer courses at UCLA. News of successful performances of "Pierrot lunaire" op. 21 in London.
On 12 January, completes the Chamber Symphony No. 2 op. 38B, in a Version for Two Pianos. Between 12 March and 12 June, composes the "Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte" op.41, 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."
Teaches 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 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.
Schönberg is named professor emeritus of the University of California at Los Angeles. He continues to teach privately.
World première of the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra op. 42, under the baton of Leopold Stokowski (Soloist: Eduard Steuermann ) on 6 February in New York. World première of Theme and Variations op. 43B, under the baton of Serge Koussevitzky on 20 October in Boston.
In August, at the request of Leopold Stokowski, composes the Fanfare on Motivs from the Gurre-Lieder (unfinished) for the Hollywood Bowl Concerts. Between 21 and 30 September, commissioned by Nathaniel Shilkret, composes the Prelude for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra 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.
Hearttack. Lectures at the University of Chicago.
Commissioned by the Music Department of Harvard University, composes the String Trio (for Violin, Viola and Cello) 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 Variations op. 43, performed by the Goldman Band in New York on 27 June. Writes the textbook "Structural Functions of Harmony."
Elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
World première of the String Trio (for Violin, Viola and Cello) 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.
"Dr. Faustus" controversy with Thomas Mann. Gives lectures in Santa Barbara.
Drei Volksliedsätze für gemischten Chor a capella [Three Folksongs for mixed chorus a cappella] 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.
Is 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."
Composes a Phantasy 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" ["Thrice a Thousand Years"]" 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 Drei Volksliedsätze für gemischten Chor a capella [Three Folksongs for mixed chorus a cappella] op. 49, and in the process, refers back to the folk tunes arranged for the Peters Edition in the late 1920’s.
At 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, 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 "Moderner 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.
Is 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 und Aron" receives its world première under the baton of Hermann Scherchen in Darmstadt on 2 July.