Gottfried von Einem

Gottfried von Einem ( born January 24, 1918 in Bern, † 12 July 1996 Oberdürnbach, Lower Austria ) was an Austrian " composer " ( according to its own name). He was posthumously awarded the Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.


From A was born on January 24, 1918 in Bern, the son of the Austrian military attaché and later General William von Einem. He came from a conservative- monarchist family with a military tradition. His parents had contact with many eminent persons and institutions. His mother, Baroness Louise Gerta was described by von Einem as " an incredibly energetic, committed and thereby operating with great charm woman." She was friends since childhood with Olga and Paula Goering, the two sisters Hermann Goering. On the other hand, met Gerta Louise von Einem on a visit to London Winston Churchill and helped German and Austrian Jews to emigrate to Switzerland. Gerta Louise von Einem is described as an elegant woman of the world. All her life she was restless when traveling. In service in the so-called highest circles - among artists, business people and statesmen. Born in 1889 as Gerta -Luise Riess of Scheuernschloss, 1911, she married the Austrian intelligence officer William von Einem. The middle of the three sons is the composer Gottfried von Einem, which claims child of an affair with his mother to the Hungarian Count Laszlo Hunyady, who was torn in the 1920s when hunting from a wounded lion.

1921 the family moved to Malente- Gremsmuehlen in Schleswig -Holstein. From A saw his parents only about six weeks a year, he was brought up by servants: " My childhood was pretty bad. (...) Three boys in a house of 22 rooms, with a private tutor, housekeeper and everything else is good and expensive, and the parents never there. "With six years he received his first piano lessons at the then village schoolmaster Kahl. Since the age of seven he had the wish to become a composer. From 1928 on, he first attended the National Training Institute in Plön, where he was a student of music educators Edgar Rabsch.

After converting the school into a Ploen Before the Fall, he attended a grammar school until 1937 in Ratzeburg. He received professional instruction from a graduate of the Conservatory of Kiel named Kathe Schlotfeldt (later Kieckbusch ). She had " shown what can be an artist " him. The young Gottfried received from his parents' notes and other musical paraphernalia abound. He was inspired to compose himself.

In 1937 he came to Berlin. Held at the Academy of Music, as expected, he went in 1938 as a coach at the Berlin State Opera from 1941 and took composition lessons with Boris Blacher, who later employed consultant and his librettist is. From the Berlin period dates his Opus 1, Princess Turandot, which was created at the suggestion of his friend Werner Egk. The opera Danton's Death by Georg Büchner, which was premiered at the 1947 Salzburg Festival, he achieved his international breakthrough.

From 1953 lived from A in Vienna. From 1948 to 1951 and 1954 to 1964 he was a member of the Board of the Salzburg Festival. From 1963 to 1972 he was professor of composition at the Vienna Music Academy. After 1973, he spent most of his time in the rural surroundings of the Waldviertel.

Von Einem's musical language is moderately modern and mostly tonal. The focus of his work lies in the field of music drama and opera, but his catalog of works includes symphonies, concertos, chamber music and songs. Among his greatest achievements include the operas The process (after Franz Kafka, premiered in 1953 in Salzburg) and the visit of the old lady ( after the eponymous play by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, premiered in 1971 in Vienna). Many of his later works based on texts of his second wife, writer Lotte Ingrisch, including the mystery opera Jesus wedding, their first performance in Vienna in 1980 as the West German premiere in Hanover caused a complete scandal.

His grave is in the cemetery Hietzing (Group 60, number 7, number 18).

Einem's son from his first marriage is the politician Caspar Einem.

Awards and Affiliations

Righteous among the Nations

Gottfried von Einem was posthumously awarded on 12 August 2002 as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. From A had, besides others, the Jewish Berlin musician Konrad Latte support during the last two years of the war. After the submerged bar musician in 1943 engaged as a coach during the rehearsals for his ballet princess Turandot under code names, he provided him with food stamps and passport of the Reich Music Chamber. Through the efforts of his friends and von Einem bar was saved from deportation.