Documents associated with this person:

Younger brother of Heinrich Schenker, and also of Shifre and Wilhelm Schenker; youngest child of Johann and Julia Schenker. He lived in Baden bei Wien, and was married to Lisl (Liesl).

A banker with the Österreichische Länderbank (Austrian Provincial Bank), Moriz Schenker was stationed in Egypt in the early years of the century (he later remarked: "Egypt is my second home ... unfortunately a continuous life there is impossible." ‒ diary OJ 3/9, p. 3003, Nov 17, 1926); later he worked at the Vienna branch in the Rumanian room, which entailed much travel, during which in November-December 1918 he was interned in Bucharest. In 1914, there is reference to his receiving a "decoration" (Dekorierung) (OJ 1/16, p. 707, September 16, 1914). In November 1924, he apparently moved to the Treuga Bank. He played the violin well enough to have played informally with Heinrich.

Moriz and Lisl had two children: Helga and Georg. First signs of difficulty in the couple's marriage came when in mid-July 1929 Moriz informed Schenker that Lisl had "moved [from Baden Baden] to Vienna" (OJ 4/2, pp. 3353-3354), after which it emerged that she had left him for Leopold Richtera (OJ 4/2, pp. 3380‒3381). Moriz apparently committed suicide in 1936.

Relationship with Heinrich

  Photograph of Moriz and Heinrich Schenker.
Moriz (standing), Heinrich (seated), 1901 (OJ 72/14, No. 4)

He (together with his eldest brother Wilhelm) contributed money to the upkeep of his mother, Julia Schenker, at least from January 1914 onwards. Later, he looked after Schenker's financial affairs; and during the legal proceedings between Heinrich and Universal Edition in 1925 he acted as intermediary to the disputing parties in a crucial meeting, and the agreed compensatory payments from UE to Heinrich were to be paid into the account of Moriz Schenker, who by that time had risen to the rank of General Director of the Vienna branch of the bank. However, on June 4, 1929 Schenker gave notice of intention to withdraw half of the financial resources that were in his brother's keeping (OJ 4/2, p. 3344), and subsequently invested them in US dollars (ibid, p. 3352, July 8, 1929).

Being relatively wealthy, he fell victim to Schenker's general detestation of "the rich." For example, Moriz's behavior on the occasion of his decoration (see above) was dubbed "an unequaled piece of Schenker shenanigens" (ein Schenkerei ohnegleichen) and "damnable." A retrospective remark in 1922 refers to the fact the "Already during my earliest years, because I had to support mother, sister, younger brother (today the so ungrateful billionaire) and nieces by giving piano lessons ..." (DLA 69.930/10, September 25, 1922).

Correspondence with Heinrich and Others; Photographs

Correspondence from Moriz to Heinrich Schenker survives as OJ 14/5 (1918-30: 41 items, including correspondence to Julia Schenker, 1912-14) and OC 54/31 and 32 (1925), A/284 and 285 (1934). Some correspondence with Universal Edition exists as OC 52/466 and 467 (1924), and with Schenker's attorney Theodor Baumgarten, OC 52/703 (1925), regarding the dispute with UE. OJ 35/8 contains "financial transactions between Heinrich Schenker and Moriz Schenker, Anny Wollner and Drei Masken-Verlag, 1922-31."

Two photographic portraits survive as OJ 72/18, Nos. 1 (Moriz in military uniform with wife, c. 1897) and 2 (Moriz alone, c. 1901).


  • Federhofer, Hellmut, Heinrich Schenker nach Tagebüchern und Briefen ... (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1985)
  • Private communication from Elizabeth Brinsden (October 18, 2011)
  • correspondence and diaries


  • Marko Deisinger and Ian Bent

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


  • OJ 6/6, [5] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Valerie Violin, dated December 30, 1917

    In response to the Violins' condolences on the death of his mother, Schenker reflects sadly on her life and needs between 1890 and the late 1910s, attributing blame largely to his younger brother Moriz, less to his older brother Wilhelm; — He explains why he and Jeanette are unable to visit the Violins in the cold and without adequate clothing.

  • OJ 5/38, [1] Handwritten letter from Heinrich Schenker and Jeanette Kornfeld to Wilhelm Schenker, dated January 24, 1918

    Heinrich comments on the attack of the mumps, from which Wilhelm's children are suffering. Heinrich encourages Wilhelm and his family to move from Kautzen permanently, and in that connection will investigate the cost of having Julia Schenker's body moved from Waidhofen to Vienna for burial with the cooperation of the Vienna Kultusgemeinde. He envisions purchasing burial plots for Jeanette and himself adjacent to Julia's grave. He thanks Dodi for her invitation to stay with them if Vienna becomes intolerable.

  • OJ 14/5, [4] Handwritten picture postcard from employee of the Austrian Provincial Bank to Heinrich Schenker, dated June 19, 1918

    Schenker's letter has been forwarded to Moriz Schenker.

  • OJ 14/5, [6] Handwritten fieldpostcard from Moriz Schenker and Hans Guttmann to Heinrich Schenker, dated August 8, 1918

    Moriz Schenker regrets not having spoken to Heinrich but hopes to be in Vienna again soon; he has Hans Guttmann staying, and has written to Sophie Guttmann; note by Hans Guttmann.

  • OJ 8/3, [61] Handwritten postcard from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated August 21, 1918

    The Schenkers went to Mariazell on the 16th for a work-free vacation. - - Schenker has had difficulties with Wilhelm and Moriz Schenker. - - He describes visit to Hupka in Kapuvár (Hungary). - - Comments on Violin's forthcoming promotion to Lieutenant.

  • OJ 6/6, [9] Handwritten triple-letter from Jeanette Kornfeld and Heinrich Schenker to Valerie and Moriz Violin, dated July 15, 1919

    (1) Jeanette to Valerie: offers sympathy and reassurance about her illness; describes the Tantalier Castle and its romantic associations; (2) Heinrich to Valerie: recommends eating large quantities; (3) Heinrich to Moriz: supports food theory by reference to his own proneness to nervous depression; suggests that Valerie recuperate in Zell am See.

  • OJ 8/3, [82] Handwritten postcard from Heinrich Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated February 13, 1920

    Amount of divorce settlement and its investment. — Op. 101/3 sketches arrived.

  • OJ 8/3, [83] Handwritten postcard from Heinrich Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated March 8, 1920

    Tonschl's report on conversation with Moriz Schenker, and advice.

  • OJ 8/3, [84] Handwritten postcard from Heinrich Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated March 16, 1920

    Moriz Schenker extends invitation to meet, confirms sum of 68,080 Kronen. — Meeting with Hertzka scheduled for next day.

  • OJ 8/3, [86] Handwritten postcard from Heinrich Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated May 5, 1920

    Schenker writes scathingly about his brother Moriz's attitude to Schenker's problems.

  • OJ 6/7, [2] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated January 29, 1922

    Schenker offers to lend Violin his performing materials for two keyboard concertos by C. P. E. Bach. He inquires about musical life in Hamburg, reports on his most recent work, continues to despair of his financial situation.

  • OJ 8/4, [15] Handwritten postcard from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated September 10, 1922

    Hearing of the Violins' son Karl's recent illness, Schenker sends his sympathy, then reports on his financial troubles. His application for a post at the University of Leipzig was received without enthusiasm, on the grounds that he is "more an artist than a scholar."

  • OJ 14/45, [16] Handwritten lettercard from Moriz Violin to Schenker, dated September 13, 1922

    Violin reports briefly about his son's health, then goes into the practical issues arising from Schenker's active search for a post at a German music institute.

  • DLA 69.930/10 Handwritten letter from Schenker to Halm, dated September 25, 1922

    Acknowledges OJ 11/35, 20 and composition; expects to be able to comment on Halm's Klavierübung in Tonwille 4; reports Leipzig University's decision not to appoint him; speculates on the impact of Kontrapunkt 2 and Der freie Satz; public difficulty in accepting Urgesetze. — Aristide Briand: The importance of being well-read on a topic before commenting in public: Schoenberg and Reger; newspapers. — Maximilian Harden: although faithful to Schenker, Harden had not mastered the topics on which he wrote. — National Govenment: Schenker's publishing plans, including "The Future of Humanity": man's anthropomorphic thinking is a delusion, he needs to adapt to nature, to return to a primitive state, to abandon "development" and "progress" and return to primordial laws; inferior man wants to "govern" (bowel wants to become brain); Schenker deplores "artifice" (French) as against nature (German). — Things French: praises German superiority over French in its joy of work. — Higher Plane: the German should not abase himself before the Frenchman.

  • OJ 5/45, [3] Copy, in Jeanette Schenker's hand, of a letter from Schenker to Weisse, dated September 12, 1923

    Schenker explains his behavior a few days before, in reply to Weisse’s letter of September 7, and his implicit displeasure at his pupil's lengthy trip to Italy in the summer.

  • OJ 10/1, [80] Handwritten letter from Dahms to Schenker, undated [c. November 18, 1923]

    Having sent a subscription copy of Musik des Südens to Moriz Schenker and received no acknowledgement, Dahms asks Schenker's help.

  • OJ 10/1, [81] Handwritten letter from Dahms to Schenker, dated November 20, 1923

    Dahms has now received acknowledgement from Moriz Schenker. — He asks Schenker's help in approaching financier Castiglioni for financial backing for his planned bel canto book.

  • OJ 6/7, [10] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated October 26, 1924

    Schenker names ten universities that should receive complimentary copies of Der Tonwille, explaining that university music departments (Seminare) are more suitable recipients than conservatories and other types of music schools. With 1924 coming to an end, he will resign from UE and shift publication of Der Tonwille to Piper or Drei-Masken Verlag in Munich. The latter have agreed to publish his study of Beethoven's Sonata Op. 106

  • OJ 6/7, [17] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated February 2, 1925

    Schenker, repeating some of the points made in earlier letters, continues to give an account of Hertzka's dishonest dealings with him over Der Tonwille and asks Violin to give him an accurate count of the subscriptions that Max Temming paid for in the distribution of free copies of the journal to university music departments. He asks if Violin suspects that anti-Semitism lurks behind some of the critical notices of his recent concert. Finally, he mentions an article in Die Musik by Paul Bekker that numbers Schenker among the hermeneutists; the same issue contains a review of Der Tonwille, by Max Broesicke-Schon, disputing the supreme genius of the canonic composers.

  • OJ 6/7, [19] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated April 10, 1925

    Continuing the story of the ongoing financial battle against Hertzka and Universal Edition, Schenker thanks Violin for providing confirmation of the subscriptions paid for by Max Temming, then recounts that, at a meeting with Hertzka and his bookkeeper, the order-book for Der Tonwille had several pages torn out. Schenker is upset that his lawyer Dr. Baumgarten, though an old friend, is not fully supportive of his position and would prefer seek a compromise with Hertzka; this, Schenker feels, would rob him of much of his hard-earned royalties, especially from the Beethoven sonata edition. He now asks Violin to find a contact – outside Hamburg – who would be willing to order nine copies of Tonwille 1, as evidence that this issue is still in demand, despite Hertzka's claims to the contrary. He has attended a performance of Hans Weisse's Sextet, of which he found the variation movement and the trio section of the scherzo to be the most satisfactory parts.

  • OC 54/15 Typewritten letter from Moriz Schenker to Heinrich Schenker, dated July 24, 1925

    Moriz Schenker tells his brother that he will ask his friend Sobotka to intervene directly in the matter of obtaining the advance of 250 marks from Drei Masken Verlag

  • OC 54/32 Typed letter from Moriz Schenker to Schenker, dated July 28, 1925

    Moriz Schenker has seen his friend Sobotka, who will arrange for the advance from Drei Masken Verlag to be paid into his account.

  • OJ 6/7, [24] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated August 15, 1925

    After expressing his sympathy for Violin, in response to his friend's depressing postcard, Schenker gives an account of some of the summer events, including a visit from Vrieslander and Hoboken and work on two essays for Meisterwerk 2. While continuing to rail against Hertzka and Universal Edition, he repeats the story of Drei Masken Verlag failing to send him 250 Marks upon receipt of the manuscript of Meisterwerk 1. His brother Moses is, however, acquainted with the principal owner of Drei Masken, Felix Sobotka, and through this connection the payment has been made.

  • OJ 6/7, [25] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated October 25, 1925

    In this wide-ranging letter, Schenker commiserates with Violin about the high cost of living, and his inability to raise his fees to keep up with it (in particular, he feels unable to ask the wealthy Hoboken to pay more than his other pupils). He reports on sales of a medallion bearing his image, and the imminent arrival of a mezzotint of his portrait, made by Viktor Hammer, of which his brother Moses Schenker has bought the original drawing. Vrieslander will write an essay about his work in Die Musik, accompanied by the portrait, and things are now going well with the corrections to Meisterwerk 1 and the writing of Meisterwerk 2.

  • OC 54/94 Typed letter from Hirsch to Schenker, dated June 26, 1926

    Treuga Bank confirm that the General Director has read through the contract and letters regarding payment for the first Meisterwerk volume. He will send a report as soon as he has discussed the matter with the Consul General.

  • OJ 10/1, [94] Handwritten letter from Dahms to Schenker, dated June 26, 1926

    Dahms thanks Schenker for his report [on the viability of the almanach proposal]. — He plans to devote part of the almanach to Beethoven, and asks whether Schenker might contribute something new, or grant permission to reprint some of what he has written in Der Tonwille.

  • OC 52/908 Typed letter from Hugo Winter (UE) to Schenker, dated December 28, 1926

    Payments for Beethoven sonatas and Der Tonwille have been transferred.

  • OC 52/909 Typed letter from Hugo Winter (UE) to Schenker, dated January 4, 1927

    Encloses Schenker's royalty statement for the second half of 1926.

  • OJ 6/7, [43] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated November 13, 1929

    Urging his friend to write only when he feels up to it, Schenker gives Violin some news of his own: that the Eroica Symphony monograph is finished but a publisher who is capable of dealing with the numerous music examples must be found; that Schenker will work unceasingly on Der freie Satz once the Eroica is out of the way; that the Photogram Archive has grown in size in two years, and that so many requests for information have been received that a yearbook is planned, with critical reports, new editions, and the like; that Hoboken and Vrieslander have fallen out (over money matters); that Schenker's brother Mozio (Moses) has separated from his wife after 25 years of marriage and that he his has been giving music lessons to Mozio’s son, a cellist in the Baden city orchestra.

  • OJ 14/45, [80] Handwritten letter from Violin to Schenker, dated November 19, 1929

    Violin apologizes for not having written, but does not want to burden Schenker with negative thoughts. He will try to help find a publisher for the "Eroica" analysis, and also offers some thoughts of comfort on hearing the news that Schenker's brother and sister-in-law have separated. He has little energy left, but is somehow able to muster it when needed, e.g. at a sold-out orchestral concert in which he played better than ever. He promises to be in Vienna over Christmas.

  • OJ 6/7, [44] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Violin, dated November 24, 1929

    After reply to some of the more personal points in Violin's previous letter, Schenker welcomes his friend's efforts to look for a publisher for the Eroica Symphony monograph, noting that, in spite of the difficulties that Hertzka has caused him, his books are still in print and his status as a theorist has been acknowledged by the the fact that the universities of Heidelberg and Leipzig have expressed an interest in appointing him. A recent article in the Deutsche Tonkünstler-Zeitung will give Violin further ammunition when approaching a publisher. That same issue also contains an article by Schoenberg touching on various canonic works (Bach, Prelude in C sharp minor for the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1; Beethoven, Seventh Symphony, finale; Mozart, slow introduction to the "Dissonant" Quartet). He feels that it is beneath his dignity to make a formal reply; but to illustrate what he means, and why he is contemptuous of Schoenberg, he provides several voice-leading graphs and other music examples concerning these works.

  • OJ 6/7, [47] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Violin, dated March 2, 1930

    Schenker reports on two concerts at which Hans Weisse's Octet was performed for the first time. Furtwängler was enchanted by it, Schenker was impressed by the quality of the voice-leading in general, the construction of the finale movement (a passacaglia) in particular. He was touched to see that a pupil of Weisse's, Dr. Felix Salzer, had subvented the cost of the rehearsals and concerts, and the provision of food and drink for the audience; this he compared with Antony van Hoboken's reluctance to help him with the publication costs of his recent work.

  • OJ 6/7, [48] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated May 19, [1930]

    After congratulating Violin on moving house, Schenker reports that an article that is critical of the "Urlinie", by Walter Riezler, has apparently offended Furtwängler, a childhood friend of the author. Furtwängler hoped that Hans Weisse might write a response; in the end, Brünauer wrote one, and Weisse has sent it to Furtwängler. Schenker has himself replied to an article by Eduard Beninger in the February 1930 issue of the Zeitschrift für Musik. Owing to overwork, he was required to rest during the day between lessons; now he is better. Oppel is again coming to Galtür and Schenker hopes that Violin will join him there, too.

  • OJ 6/7, [49] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated July 10, 1930

    Acknowledging his recent letter to Jeanette, Schenker expresses his regret that Violin and his son Karl are still troubled by health problems and reports some recent news. Furtwängler's intervention with Breitkopf & Härtel on behalf of Weisse's Octet was in vain; he had also sought the same firm's agreement to publish the "Eroica" analysis, but this will now appear as the third Meisterwerk Yearbook. The Schenkers are expecting many visitors in Galtür, including Furtwängler, Reinhard Oppel, Schenker's nephew and his wife, and Jeanette's sister and family. Hoboken is prepared to fund the publication of a collected edition of the works of C. P. E. Bach (with financial support from the city of Hamburg), but Schenker is cautious about this because his paid involvement in the project might result in work that would jeopardize progress on Der freie Satz. He has been included in the latest edition of Meyers Konversations-Lexicon, and has received favorable citation in Romain Rolland's latest Beethoven book.

  • OJ 6/7, [50] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated July 31, 1930

    Schenker assures his friend that he understands his difficulties, and that he can be proud of holding his head high above those who do not understand music, or are incapable of interpreting it beautifully. His own problems are focussed around money, especially as his brother (Moses) has not given him the second part of his inheritance. He has sought to find cheaper ways of producing the music examples for his latest writings: he is more satisfied with the Eroica examples than the engraved illustrations from previous volumes of Das Meisterwerk in der Musik, and is planning to issue Der freie Satz with a volume of examples that is separate from the text. He repeats the news, from an earlier letter, of his being mentioned in Romain Rolland's most recent Beethoven book, and of his entry in Meyers Konversations-Lexicon, and also reports on an item about him in the Deutsche Tonkünstler-Lexikon.

  • OJ 6/7, [51] Handwritten letter, with envelope, from Schenker to Violin, dated October 21, 1930

    Writing after a long and serious illness, Schenker assures his friend that he is alive and well. The doctors have pronounced him generally fit, but he suffers from a painful tightening of the thorax, and also a flickering that causes him to "lose" letters and notes. He has had to give many double-lessons of late, in theory, which he finds tiring. To Hoboken, who, though gifted, is concerned only about his money and often comes to lessons without having prepared anything, he would rather play than give over-long lectures. He is concerned, for his own sake as much as for Weisse's, about the lectures in Berlin that Weisse will deliver, and about his eagerness to debate with Alfred Lorenz; he is glad that Violin is going to Berlin, and will give him instructions about what to do there. His Beethoven sonata edition brings in 100 shillings per month – a good deal for the publishers – and his brother still has half of his inheritance. But he is still alive – with Der freie Satz.