New Cache of Letters Discovered

A new cache of fourteen items of correspondence was identified in May‒June 2013 by the archivist of the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Erwin Strouhal, through the mediation of Professor Martin Eybl.

The Institution

The Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst is the current incarnation of what was originally the private Vienna Music Conservatory (founded in 1817), which in 1909 became the state-owned Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst (Academy for Music and Performance Art), which between 1923 and 1931 was divided into an institute (Hochschule) and conservatory (Akademie), and reverted to being an Akademie after 1931. In 1998 it was given university status. —Schenker enrolled in the Conservatory for 1887-89, studying piano with Ernst Ludwig and composition with Anton Bruckner. He never taught there (though he was considered for a professorship in 1908), and for much of his career he was antagonistic to its ethos and politics.

The cache

Schenker's correspondence with the institution spanned at least 1908 to 1933. That between 1924 and 1927 shows Schenker fighting the Akademie for control of two annual stipends that had been placed in his gift by a former student, Sofie Deutsch, at her death in 1917. The new documents come from that period, and fill out that story as well as illuminating a particularly interesting aspect of Schenker's psychology. Of the fourteen documents, four are letters from Schenker to the Akademie (for three of which drafts survive), two are letters between Schenker's attorney and the Akademie, three are letters from the Akademie to Schenker, one contains a letter from the Akademie to the Ministry of Education concerning the stipends, one a letter from the Ministry to the Akademie, and two are internal Akademie documents that themselves contain drafts of three letters. Of the fourteen, eight are unique items.

New documents come to light quite frequently, often as a result of SDO's work, and this one is a valuable addition to the Schenker correspondence.

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