Siegfried Mauser

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Professor Siegfried Mauser in 2014

Siegfried Mauser (born 3 November 1954) is a German pianist, academic and music manager. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, German courts convicted him as a multiple sex offender.[1]


Siegfried Mauser was born in Straubing (Bavaria). He studied piano with Rosl Schmid and Alfons Kontarsky. (Through the influence of the Kontarskys in particular, Mauser became a champion of modernist and of contemporary piano music.) In Munich and Salzburg, his academic subjects were musicology, philosophy and art history.

Functions in German and Austrian musical life[edit]

From 1981 to 1983 Mauser was lecturer in musicology and piano in Munich, subsequently professor of piano at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg and of musicology in Salzburg (Austria). At Salzburg, he founded an Institute for Musical Hermeneutics.[2] From 2003 to 2014, Mauser was President of the Hochschule für Musik München.[3] He has been Director of the Music Section of the Bavarian Academy of Arts since 2002.[4] Mauser is on the faculty of the State Academy for Design Karlsruhe (Germany).[5] Philosopher Peter Sloterdijk in 2011 made a case that "Siegfried Mauser, not [Alexander] Pereira, should have become new director of the [Salzburg] Festival".[6] In October 2015, the City of Salzburg appointed Mauser director of its festival Biennale.[7] From October 2014 to June 2016, he served as Rector of the University Mozarteum Salzburg; Mauser had to withdraw from his position after charges against him had been substantiated in court.[8] A generous severance pay, however, was granted to him by the Mozarteum.[9]

Criminal trials[edit]

On 13 May 2016, the Munich District Court ("Amtsgericht München") sentenced Siegfried Mauser to one year and three months jail on probation and a 25.000 Euro penalty for sexual harassment ("sexuelle Nötigung", § 177 German Criminal Law Code) on one of his colleagues at the Hochschule für Musik München.[10] Following the verdict, Mauser suffered a nervous breakdown and received psychiatric treatment at the Christian Doppler Clinic within the Salzburg University Hospital.[11] Subsequently, he appealed to the Munich Regional Court I ("Landgericht München I"). Here Mauser pleaded that judicial authorities had singled him out for a libertine way of life rather than criminal offence and urged "not to make" him "a victim of zeitgeist" ("kein Zeitgeist-Opfer").[12] The Regional Court, though, essentially confirmed the District Court's verdict on 26 April 2017; the prison sentence was reduced to nine months on probation.[13] Already on 19 April 2017 further charges against Mauser had become public, one of (anal) rape and three of sexual harassment.[14] Regarding these, Mauser was sentenced, on 16 May 2018, to two years and nine months in prison.[15]

Public controversy[edit]

Mauser's case stirred public controversy in Germany. Taking issue with the District Court's verdict, poet and writer Hans Magnus Enzensberger claimed that a professor had taken revenge after Mauser had blocked (or at least not promoted) her career: "Ladies whose advances are rejected are like treacherous anti-tank mines. Their thirst for revenge should never be underestimated."[16] In response, author Patrick Bahners argued that the jury had taken into account testimony by 16 witnesses; mere personal acquaintance, Bahners maintained, hardly placed Enzensberger and other friends of Mauser in a superior position to judge the events.[17] Peter Sloterdijk, in a spoken statement at the high-profile philosophy festival Phil.Cologne[18] on 21 May 2016, described the District Court's decision as a stark symptom of contemporary neo-Puritan ("neopuritanische") prudery, a social and political trend eroding the achievements of sexual liberation in Germany since the 1960s.[19] Reacting to Mauser's case,[20] the Hochschule für Musik München committed itself to stricter measures (both precautionary and in terms of sanctions) against sexual harassment.[21]

Honours (selection)[edit]

  • 2009: Austrian Cross of Honours for Science and Art
  • 2010: Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany[22]
  • 2012: King Maximilian Medal of the Federal State of Bavaria[23]


  1. ^ Ralf Wiegand/Susi Wimmer, Professor Unrat. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, no. 113 (18 May 2018), p. 9
  2. ^ Wolfgang Gratzer, 'Nachgedanken zum Salzburger Institut für musikalische Hermeneutik' (2008), in: Beiträge zur Interpretationsästhetik und zur Hermeneutik-Diskussion, ed. Claus Bockmaier (Schriften zur musikalischen Hermeneutik 10) (Laaber: Laaber, 2009), pp. 17-20
  3. ^ "Prof. Dr. Siegfried Mauser: Präsident der Musikhochschule München" (in German). Bayerischer Rundfunk. 2010-07-22. Retrieved 2011-04-22. 
  4. ^ Bayerische Akademie der schönen Künste, Direktorium. Accessed on 16 July 2015
  5. ^[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Peter Sloterdijk, Zeilen und Tage: Notizen 2008 — 2011 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2012): "man hätte Siegfried Mauser, nicht Pereira, zum neuen Leiter der Festspiele berufen [sollen]".
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Renate Graber, Golden Handshake am Mozarteum. In: Der Standard, Vienna, Austria, 29 November 2017
  10. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung "Mit Verlaub, Sie sind ein Grapscher", accessed 14 May 2016
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Urteil: Erneut Bewährungsstrafe für Siegfried Mauser [1] Abendzeitung München, 26 April 2017.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Ralf Wiegand/Susi Wimmer, Professor Unrat. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, no. 113 (18 May 2018), p. 9
  16. ^ Hans Magnus Enzensberger, 'Tückische Tellerminen', Süddeutsche Zeitung, 27 May 2016: "Damen, deren Avancen zurückgewiesen werden, gleichen tückischen Tellerminen. Ihre Rachsucht sollte man nie unterschätzen."
  17. ^ Patrick Bahners, 'Tückische Tellerminen', Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 31 May 2016. In a similar vein: Christine Lemke-Matwey, 'Spezl unter Spezln. Warum Bayerns Intellektuelle der Justiz an den Karren fahren', Die Zeit no. 24, 2 June 2016
  18. ^ Phil.Cologne Website. Mauser served as one of the models for the character Mösenlechzner in Peter Sloterdijk's second, semi-autobiographical novel Das Schelling-Projekt [The Schelling Project] (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2016), first presented in extracts at Phil.Cologne 2016.
  19. ^ In contrary spirit, Susanne Kübler, Culture Editor of Der Tagesanzeiger (Zurich, Switzerland), argued that Mauser's supporters held a view of women pre-dating the 1960s and 1970s emancipation:
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Music Schools in Germany: Measures against Sexual Harassment" (in German). Bayerischer Rundfunk. Retrieved 2016-06-15. 
  22. ^ Press Communication, accessed 10 June 2016
  23. ^ Press Communication of the Government of Bavaria, accessed 8 December 2012

External links[edit]