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Austrian musicologist and music critic.

Career Summary

Bienenfeld studied musicology with Guido Adler 1898-1903, and in addition composition with Robert Fuchs, Alexander von Zemlinsky, and Arnold Schoenberg. She was the first woman graduate in the discipline of musicology in the whole of Austria, completing her dissertation on W. Schmeltzl und sein Liederbuch (1544) in 1903 at the University of Vienna. In the following year, she was appointed to the editorial staff of the Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich. She taught at the Lyceum for Girls in Vienna, the head of which was Eugenie Schwarzwald, and organized a course for those interested in music (primarily students of Guido Adler) there in 1904/05, in which she herself together with Schoenberg and Zemlinsky offered music-theoretical and historical topics.

Bienenfeld repeatedly took up the cudgels as a publicist for the Second Viennese School. Between c. 1906 and the 1930s, she wrote music reviews for the Neues Wiener Journal. After the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany in 1938, she was, as a Jew, deported from the city of her birth, Vienna. She died in the concentration camp Klein Trostinetz, near Minsk.

Correspondence with Schenker

Her correspondence to Schenker is limited to the years 1931-33, surviving as OJ 9/15 (1933: 3 items) and OC 50/14 (1931: 1 item); letters from Schenker to her are not known to survive.

Reviews by Bienenfeld preserved in Schenker's scrapbook (OC 2) are:

  • Neues Wiener Journal, November 27, 1910 (OJ 2/p. 21) [review of Schenker's Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue edition]
  • Neues Wiener Journal, March 17, 1925 (OJ 2/p. 64) [refers to "Urlinie" in a review of a Philharmonic concert]
  • Vom musikalischen Vortrag, Deutsche Musiker Zeitung, August 14, 1926 (OJ 2/p. 69) [writes about Schenker as editor]
  • "Zahlenmusik im künstlerischen Schaffen," Neues Wiener Journal, September 27, 1931 (OJ 2/p. 79) [refers to Schenker's philosophical ideas]
  • Neues Wiener Journal, June 20, 1920 (CA 171-172) [review of Walter Niemann's Brahms]


  • Deutsches biographisches Archiv
  • Österreichisches Musiklexikon
  • Leon Botstein / Werner Hanak (eds.), Quasi una fantasia. Juden und die Musikstadt Wien (Vienna: wolke, 2003)
  • Martin Eybl, Die Befreiung des Augenblicks: Schönbergs Skandalkonzerte von 1907 und 1908. Eine Dokumentation (Vienna: Böhlau, 2004)


  • Martin Eybl

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