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Viennese music-publishing house from 1890 to the present day, publisher of Schenker's Syrian Dances.

History of the Company

Josef Weinberger founded a music-publishing firm in partnership with Carl Hofbauer on November 1, 1885 as Josef Weinberger & Carl Hofbauer, Kunst- und Musikalienhandel [art and sheet-music dealers], Vienna I, Kärntnerstraße 34. At first it confined itself to light music for male-, female-, and mixed-voice chorus; but in 1887 it received a license to publish opera, operetta, and ballet music. In 1889, Weinberger set up a company in Leipzig with Carl Günther, owner of the Hofmeister Verlag.

The partnership with Hofbauer eventually split up, and on January 1, 1890 Weinberger established his own Vienna company on the Kohlmarkt. In the 1890s, the firm acquired the rights to publish vocal scores of some of Smetana's operas with German translation. In the late 1890s it became the publisher of several works by Gustav Mahler including orchestral scores of Symphonies 1‒3. In 1894, Weinberger bought up the Austrian firm of Artaria; in 1897 he took over the catalogue of Gustav Léwy, publisher of Johann Strauss II and others; and upon the death of Johann Strauss II in 1899 he acquired from Strauss's family the exclusive stage rights to his works. In 1902, Weinberger procured the rights to works by Wolf-Ferrari. These events established Weinberger as a leading publisher of light theatrical music. In 1896, the firm opened a headquarters in Paris, and by 1900 its elaborately engraved letterhead was able to proclaim: Josef Weinberger
Bühnen-Verlag [—] Musikalien-Verlags-Handlungen
[Theatrical Publisher [—] Publisher of Sheet Music]
Wien Kohlmarkt No. 8 / Leipzig Querstrasse No. 13 / Paris 78, Rue d'Anjou

In 1900, the firm outgrew its premises on the Kohlmarkt and established itself at Maximilianstraße (now Mahlerstraße) 11, across the road from the Opera House. This building became also the headquarters of the newly launched Universal Edition in 1901, a collaborative venture between Weinberger, Bernhard Herzmansky (of Doblinger) and Adolf Robitschek.

The Weinberger firm continued independently of UE under Weinberger's control, and after his death in 1928 under that of Otto Blau (1893‒1980). In 1936, Blau established a headquarters in London under the management of Hugo Golwig. The Vienna firm was aryanized after the Anschluß in 1938 and the operation shifted to the Berlin branch, while Blau moved to London, then Australia. The firm was re-established in Vienna in 1946, and the Maximilianstraße premises were re-occupied in 1947. The company regained its former standing, and continues to trade in the 21st century, with headquarters in Vienna, Frankfurt, and London.

The Josef Weinberger company and Schenker

Weinberger published Schenker's Syrian Dances [Syrische Tänze] for four hands two pianos, in two volumes in October 1899. Weinberger was involved again in 1903, overseeing the part-copying and marketing, when Arnold Schoenberg orchestrated the Syrian Dances for performance in Berlin in November of that year.

Nine items of correspondence from Weinberger to Schenker survive: three undated calling cards as OJ 15/12, [1]‒[3] probably from the late 1890s; five letters with the Weinberger letterhead as OJ 15/12, [5] from 1900, and OJ 15/12, [6]‒[8] and [11] from 1903; and one letter with the UE letterhead as OC 52/11 from 1903. (The latter six all concern the Syrian Dances). No correspondence from Schenker to Weinberger is known to survive.


  • Grove Music Online ("Weinberger, Josef")
  • Johann Michel and Richard Toeman, 100 Jahre Bühen- und Musikalienverlag Josef Weinberger 1885‒1985 (Vienna: Weinberger, 1985)
  • 100 Years Remembered: A History of the Theatre and Music Publishers Josef Weinberger Vienna, Frankfurt am Main, London, 1885‒1985 (London: Weinberger, [1985])
  • Heinrich Schenker: Selected Correspondence, ed. Ian Bent, David Bretherton, and William Drabkin (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2015), esp. pp. 34, 41, 43, 59‒60, 62


  • Ian Bent

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