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Private music school founded by Theobald Kretschmann (a court musician) in 1909, and existing until 1938. Its directors were Emerich Bénesi (1909-10), Franz Ondricek (1910-15), and Josef Reitler (1915-38).

The school was known initially as the "Privatmusikschule Theobald Kretschmann," and was founded as a private institution at the same moment that the Vienna Conservatory, originally named Konservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, was transformed from a private institution into a state institution as the Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst. Application by the Kretschmann school to adopt the name "Neues Wiener Konservatorium" met with powerful opposition at that time and was repeatedly refused by the Ministry of Education on grounds that it would give rise to confusion in the public's mind between it and the Akademie, and unfair competition between its faculty and that of the latter. Although the sought-after name, and also "Neues Konservatorium für Musik," were used unofficially, opposition was not dropped until 1932, after the school's reputation and standing had steadily increased during the 1920s.

From the beginning, the school offered a more broadly based musical education than that of the Akademie, for amateurs as well as future professionals; its teaching was based on class instruction, to which specialist study of instruments, voice, chorus, theory, composition, etc. were regarded as "supplementary studies." Its teaching was to a great extent complementary to that of the professionally-oriented Akademie.

As early as 1912, the school was in financial trouble. It moved its premises from Jakobergasse 5 to Strauchgasse 4 (both in Vienna I), and the curriculum underwent expansion. An association (Verein) to support the school was founded then. In 1921, an opera school was set up. In the 1930s, the school instituted courses for operetta and cabaret, jazz orchestra, film, radio, and other subjects. The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde eventually made space available to it within the Musikverein Building, Vienna I, Bösendorferstraße 12, and the school later opened additional premises at Himmelpfortgasse 11.

Its teachers over the years included many well-known names, such as Ernst Décsey (theory), Hans Gál (composition), Alfred Grünfeld (piano), Josef Labor (organ), Carl Lafite (theory), Rudolf Nilius (conducting), Robert Pollak (violin), Richard Specht (aesthetics), Karl Weigl (theory), Egon Wellesz (theory), and Paul Wittgenstein (piano).

In 1938, after the Anschluß, many teachers were dismissed or pensioned off on racial grounds, and the school was closed in the Fall of that year. Some of the remaining teachers were then appointed to the faculty of a new institution, the Musikschule der Stadt Wien.

The Schenker Institute

A Schenker-Institut was established within the Neues Wiener Konservatorium months after Schenker's death in 1935: see the opening anouncement by Carl Bamberger (1936). Although not officially recognized in the school's statutes, it existed de facto for three years and its surviving classbooks and lists provide evidence of the courses taught and personnel involved. Felix Salzer, Oswald Jonas, and also Moriz Violin were its teachers, working at the Himmelpfortgasse premises and hiring rooms at the Musikverein Building. Its students included some who had studied with Schenker until his death (notably Eveline Pairamall, Käthe Pollak, Hilde Rubinraut, and Hans Wolf), one sister of a former Schenker pupil (Gerty Bamberger, later wife of former Schenker pupil Viktor Zuckerkandl), one future wife of a Schenker pupil (Lotte Hammerschlag), and other students including most notably Erwin Ratz and Helmuth Federhofer.


No correspondence is known to exist between the Neues Wiener Konservatorium and Schenker, nor is there any among the Jonas or Violin papers, nor the Felix Salzer papers.


  • NGDM2
  • Bamberger, Carl, "Das Schenker-Institut am Neuen Wiener Konservatorium," Musikblättter des Anbruch 18/1 (1936), pp. 7–8 [opening announcement]
  • Fink, Evelyn, "Analyse nach Heinrich Schenker an Wiener Musiklehranstalten: Ein Beitrag zur Schenker-Rezeption in Wien," in Fink, E., ed., Rebell und Visionär: Heinrich Schenker in Wien (Vienna: Lafite, 2003), pp. 18-35
  • Fink-Mennel, Evelyn, "Das Schenker-Institut und der Lehrgang für Tonsatz nach Heinrich Schenker: Zur Wiener Schenker-Tradition," in Schenker-Traditionen, ed. Martin Eybl & Evelyn Fink-Mennel (Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 2006), pp. 155–68)
  • website: (Landes Eltern Vertretung der Musikschülerinnen in Wien)

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