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Austrian coloratura soprano.

Career Summary

Selma Kurz made her debut in Hamburg in 1895, and in 1899 was engaged by Gustav Mahler at the Vienna Court Opera, on the roster of which she remained until 1926, Vienna being the center of her life. She made her debut in London in 1904, and later appeared in the USA. She specialized in the coloratura repertory, being famous especially for her roles in Verdi's Rigoletto, La traviata, and Un ballo in maschera. From 1916 she took on the role of Zerbinetta in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos. She also sang Tosca and Sieglinde. She produced many gramophone recordings.

Kurz and Schenker

Schenker did not review her work during the 1890s, and commented on her in his diary sourly on January 27, 1907: "coloratura arias from Rossini's Semiramide, sung by Miss Kurz unenlightened by the art of coloratura" (OJ 1/6, p. 32).


  • Grove Music Online (Desmond Shawe-Taylor) (21012)


  • Ian Bent

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  • OJ 14/45, [41] Handwritten letter from Moriz Violin to Schenker, dated January 19, 1925

    Violin reports on a successful concert in which he performed both as a soloist and with the Klingler String Quartet. He thanks Schenker for Tonwille 10. He has received a copy of Hans Weisse’s recent vocal quartets, and is puzzled by how a limited talent can write such good music. He is going to see Max Temming, and has received four courteous letters of acknowledgement from university music departments for copies of Der Tonwille.