Gottfried von Einem, born on 24th January 1918, is one of the few Austrian composers of the twentieth century to gain worldwide renown. Einem cannot be classified as belonging to any particular school or movement of twentieth-century music.
He always strove to write his ”own” music, regardless of whether the public considered it too modern or too conservative. His opera "Dantons Tod" was a sensation when it premiered at the 1947 Salzburger Festspiele
and brought the composer international acclaim. This was followed by other equally successful operas, in particular "Der Besuch der Alten Dame" based on a story by the Swiss writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt. In 1980 his mystery opera "Jesu Hochzeit" provoked public controversy, from which Einem did not shy away, but countered self-confidently. Einem’s autobiography "Ich hab’ unendlich viel erlebt" (I Have Experienced So Very Much) also appeared in 1995. The composer, who in addition to operas wrote ballet, choral, orchestral and chamber music as well as lieder, died on 12th July 1996 in Oberdürnbach in the province of Lower Austria.