Franz Salmhofer

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Franz Salmhofer (22 January 1900 – 22 September 1975) was an Austrian composer, clarinetist, conductor and poet. He studied the clarinet, composition and musicology in Vienna and was a pupil of Franz Schreker and Franz Schmidt. From 1929 to 1945 Salmhofer served as Kapellmeister of the Burgtheater, from 1945 to 1954 he was director of the Vienna State Opera and followed by the Vienna Volksoper from 1956 to 1963.

With a conception of music that took Romanticism as its starting point, he was regarded by many at the end of the 1920s as progressive, but not to an extent that would have endangered performances of his works in the 1930s and 1940s or that would have forced him to emigrate. Among the most widely performed of contemporary composers, he became known primarily through his operas; Iwan Tarassenko (1938) demonstrates the humanistic ideals of the ‘good man’, and both the ballet Österreichische Bauernhochzeit (1933) and the opera Das Werbekleid (1943) feature folk elements. His honours include the Austrian State Prize (1937) and the prize of the City of Vienna (1960).

Salmhofer died at age 75 in the city of his birth, Vienna, Austria.


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