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Famous People from Vienna
Johann Strauss II
(1825-10-25 - 1899-06-03 )
, Address in Vienna: Praterstrasse 54, Leopoldstadt
If it is true that I have talent, I can thank above all my beloved Vienna for it!
Johann Strauss II, son of a musician Johann Strauss I, captured the spirit of waltz like no other composer before or since. He composed as many as 160 waltzes, two of which - 'Blue Danube Waltz and Champagne Waltz' - became worldwide hits. The latter is a tune from his most famous operetta 'Die Fledermaus' (The Bat, 1874), while'Der Zigeunerbaron' (The Gypsy Baron, 1885) ranks second in order of popularity. His other well-known operetta is 'Indigo and Forty Thieves' (1871). An amazingly prolific composer, Strauss Junior wrote altogether 479 dances and 16 operettas and was successful with his elegant melodies not only among fellow composers, but also among the general public.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756-01-27 - 1791-12-05 )
, Address in Vienna: Rauhensteingasse 8
I assure you that this is a splendid place [Vienna] – and for my métier the best one in the world.
Probably the most famous composer of all time, Mozart began his musical career as a child prodigy. He performed on violin at the age of four, wrote his first symphony and four sonatas for piano and violin when he was eight, and held the position of a concertmaster at thirteen. Before his premature passing, Mozart composed more than 600 works, among which there are masterpieces in numerous musical forms – concertos, symphonies, ensembles, sonatas, string quartets, ballets and music for church ceremonies. He gained immense fame for his compositions that include 'Piano Sonata No. 11' (1783 or 1778), 'Eine Kleine Nachtmusik' (1787), the unfinished 'Requiem' (1791), the operas 'The Marriage of Figaro' (1786), 'Don Giovanni' (1787) and 'The Magic Flute' (1791) as well as the 'Jupiter Symphony' (1788), which was his last.
Franz Joseph Haydn
(1732-04-01 - 1809-05-31 )
, Address in Vienna: Neuer Markt 2
Named the “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quarter”, Haydn was a major composer of the classical era, whose innovative style of writing music deeply influenced both Mozart and Beethoven. He composed over a hundred symphonies, the most noted of them being 'Farewell' (no. 45), 'Surprise' (no. 94), 'Hen' (no. 83) and his final four 'Military', 'Clock', 'Drum Roll' and 'London' (no. 100-103). His ever-popular chamber pieces include 'Lark' (op. 64, no. 5), 'Quinten' (op. 76, no. 2) as well as 'Sunrise' (op. 76, no. 4). Haydn is also the composer of six masses and nine string quarters, for instance 'Kaiserquartett', 'Quintenquintett' and 'Der Sonnenaufgang'. Amongst his oratorios the most outstanding are 'Die Schoepfung' (The Creation, 1798) and 'Die Jahreszeiten' (The Seasons, 1801).
(1797-01-31 - 1828-11-19 )
, Address in Vienna: Nussdorferstrasse 54
Yes, beloved Vienna, you hold in your narrow compass the dearest and most precious things in life...
A native of Vienna, Schubert was born with a rare gift for music and he dedicated his short life to that gift. Due to his mastery in setting poetry to music and bringing the story to light, he is perhaps most renowned for writing more than 600 art songs and several song cycles. In addition to songs, he composed impromptus, twenty two piano sonatas, a number of short piano pieces, eight symphonies, thirty five chamber pieces as well as choral music. His well-known masterworks are 'Gretchen am Spinnrade' (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel), penned at the age of seventeen, 'Marche Militaire' (Military March) and the so-called 'Rosamunde' theme.
(1816 - 1907 )
, Address in Vienna: a house in Baden bei Vienna
This Vienna-born Jewish baker, whose surname is on the lips of Viennese café and confiserie customers every day, created the most famous chocolate cake in the world. The Original Sacher-Torte
was first prepared in 1832 on request of the Lord of Metternich, and was intended to be a fine dessert for his guests. Franz, only 16 years old at the time, served as an apprentice for the prince's court, and was substituting for the ill chef on that day. He did his best not to disappoint the lord. As a result, this soft and fluffy chocolate cake with a tasty apricot jam layer began its career, its recipe kept secret ever since. After his apprenticeship, Sacher joined the Count of Esterhazy as a journeyman, travelling first to Bratislava, then to Budapest. Eventually, he started his own business offering his delicious cake. Franz had a son, Eduard, who in 1876 opened the luxurious Hotel Sacher in the city, close to the Opera. Franz Sacher died in Baden bei Wien.
(1862-07-14 - 1918-02-06 )
This Austrian Symbolist painter was a recognised representative of Vienna Art Nouveau. Born in Baumgarten, which is near the capital city, he spent his childhood in poverty along with his six siblings. From 1876, Klimt attended the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, and was trained to become an architectural decorator. He first found successful work as an engraver, along with his brother and a friend. Soon after that, he was asked to paint interior murals in public buildings on the famous Ringstrasse. Significantly, in 1888 Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria awarded the artist with the Golden Order of Merit. In the late 1890s, Gustav Klimt became known as one of the founders of Vienna Secession. At the beginning of the 20th Century, he created his most famous paintings, such as 'The Kiss', 'Judith I' and 'Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer'. In his works, Klimt presented women as femme fatales
, often using gold decorations and symbolic themes. He died of a stroke, leaving many of his paintings unfinished.
(1860-07-07 - 1911-05-18 )
Before my eyes, the Danube follows its eternal course and the gleam of the evening sun is caught by its waves.
Mahler was born in Kaliste, a town of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as the second of twelve children to Jewish parents. Raised in Moravia, he took piano lessons from the age of six. In 1875, 15-year-old Gustav started his education in piano, harmony and composition at the Vienna Conservatory. Three years later, he was admitted to the Vienna University, where along with music he studied history and philosophy. At that time, Mahler worked as a music teacher, and he also composed his first piece, the cantata 'Das klagende Lied'. In the 1880s, he started his career as a conductor for several orchestras, including the Vienna Opera and later the New York Metropolitan Opera. In the summer of 1901, Mahler moved to Carinthia, where he lived in a new villa on the lake in Maiernigg. A year later, he married Alma Schindler, and they had two daughters. As a composer, Mahler was known for writing long symphonies filled with dramatic tension, as well as collections of songs. His 'Eighth Symphony' and 'The Song of the Earth' brought him much renown. Ill and unable to finish his 'Tenth Symphony', he died at the age of 50. According to his wishes, Mahler was buried beside his daughter at the Grinzing Cemetery outside Vienna.
(1922-11-13 - 1984-10-23 )
His real name was Oskar Josef Bschließmayer, and he was born in Vienna's Gumpendorf, a neighbourhood in the sixth district, Mariahilf. Considered an excellent actor, he began his career in the 1950s on the stages of Western European theatres, and also starring in several films. By the age of 18, he made his debut at the prestigious Burgtheater. During World War II, he was forced to put on a uniform and fight for the Axis army, though he took his first chance to desert. Among the many roles that he played, there was his exceptional performance in 'Hamlet', which Werner also directed and staged at the Salzburg Festival with his Theater Ensemble. As for his film career, he received a Golden Globe for his supporting role in 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' (1965), as well as a nomination for 'Voyage of the Damned '(1976). Oskar Werner also made an appearance on the TV crime series 'Columbo' in 1975. Sadly, the actor's addiction to alcohol became commonly known in the last years of his life. He died of a heart attack, shortly before giving a lecture at a drama club in Germany.