Documents associated with this person:

Austrian (later English) music publisher.

Career Summary

Kalmus was Jewish, and was related to the Wittgenstein family (see Leopoldine Wittgenstein). Trained in law at Vienna University,and after studying musicology with Guido Adler, Kalmus joined Universal Edition in 1909 under the then director, Emil Hertzka, and worked there until 1936 (though with a period working for Wiener Philharmonischer Verlag 1923-25), running the company jointly with Hugo Winter and Hans Heinsheimer after Hertzka's death in 1932. Following his emigration to England in 1936, he established and directed Universal Edition London.

Kalmus was Hertzka's nephew: he was the son of Erwine Fuchs (wife of Jacques Kalmus), who was the sister (or step-sister?) of Hertzka's wife, Jella Fuchs. He had one younger brother, Edwin (b. 1893), who founded the music publishing firm of Edwin F. Kalmus in New York in 1926, and one sister, Marianne. (Kalmus was also more distantly related to Schenker's pupil, Felix Salzer, who was the son of Leopoldine Wittgenstein's daughter Helene.)

Kalmus and Schenker

Schenker regarded Hertzka as his exclusive contact with UE. While a trickle of correspondence from Kalmus to Schenker exists from 1912 onward (the earliest being OC 52/89, May 16, 1912), it was only when relations between Schenker and Hertzka began to deteriorate in 1921 over the publication of Der Tonwille that Kalmus became a regular correspondent with Schenker during 1921-22 and then again from 1927 to 1932 (OC 52 and OC 18), and presumably in correspondence not surviving from 1933-35. Just after Schenker's death, he was involved in plans to reissue Harmonielehre.

In a letter to August Halm of April 3, 1924 (DLA 69.930/12), Schenker commented: How the hearts of the Jews Hertzka, Kalmus, and brother, etc, do wallow! Every line that you read in Tonwille has been bought with blood.

Otto Erich Deutsch described Kalmus jokingly, saying (OJ 10/3, [75], Dec 2, 1927): We need waste no words over the nephew. He is the lyrical edition of the heroic uncle, but from the lineage of those Asra who st[eal], if they loves.


  • NGDM2 (2001 and online)
  • Private communication from Angelika Glatz (Archivist of Universal Edition, Vienna)
  • Private communication from Christopher Hailey

Download all selected files as or or (check files to select/deselect)
Where appropriate save: English and German versions German version only English version only