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    • Schubertianer / Wien Museum
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    Franz Schubert, Poet and Liederfürst

    If you had asked passers-by in the narrow alleys of Vienna in the mid-19th century about the importance of Franz Schubert, many of them would probably have replied with a fair-minded frown, ‘Franz who?’ Today, this son of Vienna is world-renowned and his Kunstlieder its own genre in the classical music world.

    The Liederfürst

    Born in Vienna in 1797, Franz Schubert excelled in every musical genre, but with more than 600 Lieder to his name, the Prince of Song proved to be by far the most creative composer in music history when it comes to beautiful melodies. He turned poems into music, such as Goethe’s „Der Erlkönig” (Erl-King) and „Gretchen am Spinnrade” (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel). His songs have a powerful undertow of mystery, of light & dark, that nobody seemed to ever have had before. Franz Liszt called him „the most poetic musician, who has ever lived”. 

    • The restless poet.

      Legend has it, even when Schubert was sleeping, he wore his glasses so that he could write down ideas as soon as he woke up. Even though he died far too young at the age of 31, he created what now make up nearly 1,000 compositions. „I was born for nothing but composing.”

      Spectacles of Franz Schubert / Birthplace
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    • An unfinished life.

      Today, Franz Schubert stands out as a key figure in bridging the Classical and Romantic periods. After his death in 1829, his friends dedicated a memorial to him, with an epitaph by poet Franz Grillparzer: „The art of music here entombed a rich possession, but far fairer hopes.” True that.

      Franz Schubert
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    About the artist

    • Franz Schubert
    • Franz Schubert: Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel
    • Statue of Schubert, Stadtpark in Vienna
    • Schubert Sterbewohnung
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    “I am in the world only for the purpose of composing.”

    Franz Schubert
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    Franz Schubert

    Conductor, music historian & president of Bard College

    Interview with Leon Botstein

    In the 1990s, a tumult broke out among musicologists. It was about Franz Schubert's sexuality. The trigger was an article by Maynard Solomon in 1989. Solomon concluded that Schubert had strong homoerotic experiences and that homosexuality was not a taboo in this subculture.

    We talked to the American conductor, music historian and President of Bard College, Leon Botstein: "In Schubert’s lifetime bisexuality was commonplace."

    Botstein’s work has been acknowledged with awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Harvard University, the government of Austria, and the Carnegie Foundation. He is author of the book "Jefferson’s Children: Education and the Promise of American Culture" and "Von Beethoven zu Berg: Das Gedächtnis der Moderne".

    Read the Interview...
    Portraitfoto Botstein Leon
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    Music parties

    Join a Schubertiade

    „Mozart and Beethoven reach heaven - Schubert comes from there.” (Oskar Werner, Austrian actor)

    Once upon a time, Schubert’s music was exclusively played at intimate house soirees, famously known as Schubertiaden. As shy as Schubert may have been in public, the more sociable he was among friends. People would dance, sing, play charades, drink, and read poetry, while the music man was sitting at the piano, playing his latest work.

    Today, the composer’s concerts are very much intact, whether in alpine scenery, or a more underground setting.

    Learn more about Schubertiaden
    Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Angelika-Kauffmann-Saal
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    Explore Franz Schubert in Austria

    Following his footsteps in Vienna is a must. Travelling like Schubert through Austria is a treat. Choose your favourite spots and plan a trip.

    • Vienna State Opera / Staatsoper Wien
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      The Sound of Schubert's Music in Vienna

      Listen to Schubert’s music at this hand-picked list of music venues - or where (we are positive) he would have enjoyed playing.

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    • Serviten Wien
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      Walking in Vienna’s Schubertviertel

      A walk off the beaten path takes you through the Schubertviertel, a neighbourhood that carries the composer’s name.

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    • Statue of Schubert, Stadtpark in Vienna
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      Travelling through Austria like Schubert

      Vienna was Schubert's main source of inspiration but ever so often, he left his native town to enjoy Austria’s vivid landscape and summer idyl.

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