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Austrian composer, conductor, composition teacher, and music educator.

Career Summary

Schreker studied violin (Bachrich and Rosé) and composition (Fuchs) at the Vienna Conservatory (1892-1900). Having established himself as a conductor and achieved success as a composer, especially with the sensational premiere of his opera Der ferne Klang in 1910, he taught music theory and composition at the Vienna Conservatory 1912-20, and was then appointed Director of the Berlin Hochschule für Musik in 1920, holding that post until, as a Jew, he was removed by the Nazi regime in 1932. He was a distinguished and highly influential composition teacher, his pupils including Berthold Goldschmidt, Alois Hába, and Ernst Krenek.

His musical style was characterized by "aesthetic plurality (a mixture of Romanticism, naturalism, symbolism, Impressionism, Expressionism and Neue Sachlichkeit)" (C. Hailey, NGDM2), as well as by sensitive use of tone-color. He composed orchestral works (notably his Kammersymphonie (1916)), choral works, and Lieder, but his principal achievement lay in composing operas, principal among which were:

  • Der Ferne Klang (1910)
  • Die Gezeichneten (1915)
  • Der Schatzgräber (1918)
  • Irrelohe (1922)
  • Der singende Teufel (1924)

Having signed a contract with Universal Edition in 1909, Schreker became one of that publisher's most important and highly promoted composers, achieving great international success, which, however, waned after 1923.

Schreker and Schenker

Schenker, whose principal publisher was UE also, probably resented the high level of publicity given to Schreker (as also to Korngold and others) by UE's Director, Emil Hertzka, comparing it with what he saw as excessively modest publicity for his own works. As a composer of "modern" music, Schreker was no doubt in Schenker's eyes a contributor to what he considered the downfall of music.

There is no known correspondence between Schreker and Schenker.


  • NGDM2
  • Hailey, Christopher, Franz Schreker, 1878-1934: A Cultural Biography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993)

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