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German conductor and teacher, pupil of Schenker's.

Career Summary

Wolf, who had initially studied musicology in Hamburg, enrolled as a student at the University of Vienna from May 1933, and in 1937 completed a PhD dissertation under Robert Lach on the concepts of musical motion in 18th-century theory.

Wolf emigrated to the USA in the late 1930s, teaching in Iowa then serving with the US Army in France in World War II. He returned to Austria during the post-war occupation, and throughout the 1950s pursued a career as a conductor in Germany and Austria. He returned to the USA, conducting for Seattle Opera from 1969 to his death, and from 1981 to 1996 directing Tacoma Opera.

Wolf and Schenker

Wolf studied with Schenker during the academic years 1933/34 and 1934/35. His article in Der Dreiklang (1937) describes vividly Schenker's manner of teaching in private lessons. In September 1934, Wolf traveled to Hamburg and was (as a Jew) prevented from returning to Austria by the Nazi authorities; Furtwängler, at Jonas's and Schenker's request, intervened to facilitate his return. After Schenker's death, Wolf enrolled as a student at the newly founded Schenker-Institut at the Neues Wiener Konservatorium for the years 1935/36 and 1936/37, pursuing Schenkerian studies with Oswald Jonas and also studying with the conductor Rudolf Nilius. He was later involved in translating Salzer's Structural Hearing for the German market as Strukturelles Hören (Wilhelmshaven: Noetzel, 1960).

Correspondence with Schenker

Wolf's correspondence to Schenker survives in OC 44/6, 44/43-47, A/265 (1934: 5 items and 2 joint items) and OJ 15/26 (1934-35: 4 items).

Bibliography (to 1937 only)

  • Die musikalischen Bewegungsbegriffe in den Generalbaß- und Kompositionslehren des 18. Jahrhunderts als Fortsetzung der Lehre vom Kontrapunkt (PhD diss., U. of Vienna, 1937)
  • "Schenkers Persönlichkeit im Unterricht," Der Dreiklang 7 (1937), 176-84


  • Fink, Evelyn, ed.,Rebell und Visionär: Heinrich Schenker in Wien (Vienna: Lafite, 2003), pp. 22-23
  • Obituary, The Seattle Times Aug 8, 2005
  • Eybl, Martin & Fink-Mennel, Evelyn, eds, Schenker Traditionen (Vienna: Bohlau, 2006), pp. 248-50

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