Posted by on June 3, 2016 in On Vacation - No comments

44 Famous Musicians Buried in Vienna’s “Zentralfriedhof”

Zentralfriedhof Mozart MemorialMore than 44 famous musicians are buried in Vienna’s “Zentralfriedhof” (“Central Cemetery”). These are just the most notable 44 we were fortunate enough to locate. The place is mammoth, covering nearly a full square mile, with more than 330,000 gravesites and three million total interments dating back to the cemetery’s founding in the 1860s. The Zentralfriedhof’s designers have conveniently grouped most of the plots of noted cultural and political figures in just a few well mapped, easily navigable sections. It’s the outliers that can be tough. We couldn’t find ’em, but among the throng of glorious dead, we’re told, lie also the remains of Mozart’s contemporary, Salieri, the founder of Tangerine Dream, Edgar Froese, and lesser known composers Hugo Wolf, Ignaz Brüll and Emmerich Kálmán. Perhaps we’ll be so lucky to find their headstones, and a few other past masters we missed, should we ever again enjoy the great privilege of walking these famed burial grounds of this Western music capitol. We’ve linked the name of each musician on our list below to a YouTube video of a piece they either wrote, performed or conducted, with only one exception. In the rare case of Austrian actress and singer Marie Geistinger, who’s career apparently preceded the recording and feature film industries by just a few years too many, we’ve done our best to link to pertinent biographical material. Scroll to the bottom of our post to see a lovely shot of the Zentralfriedhof’s main chapel, curiously named for two people: Saint Charles Borromeo and past Vienna mayor Karl Lueger. ~I♥DM

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Zentralfriedhof 1 Beethoven1. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Moonlight Sonata“, “Für Elise“, the 5th Symphony. Need we say more?

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Zentralfriedhof 2 Schubert2. Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Schubert’s “Ellen dritter Gesang” aka “Ave Maria” and his “Unfinished” 8th Symphony rank among his most beloved works.

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Zentralfriedhof 3 Lanner3. Josef Lanner (1801-1843)

A master of the waltz; also a rival, contemporary and friend of Johann Strauss I.

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Zentralfriedhof 4 Johann Strauss I4. Johann Strauss I (1804-1849)

The patriarch of the Vienna-based Strauss musical dynasty fathered Johann II, Josef and Eduard.

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Zentralfriedhof 5 Suppe5. Franz von Suppé (1819-1895)

I♥DM’s content director has a beautiful girlfriend, and because she’s the greatest lover the world has ever known he likes to call her “Donna Juanita“, which coincidentally is also the name of a Suppé operetta that premiered at Vienna’s “Carltheater” in 1880.

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Zentralfriedhof 6 Johann Strauss II6. Johann Strauss II (1825-1899)

The most famous of the Strauss dynasty was also known in his lifetime as “The Waltz King”.

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Zentralfriedhof 7 Josef Strauss7. Josef Strauss (1827-1870)

The second son of the elder Johann Strauss composed over 300 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles and marches, and was a skilled architectural draftsman and inventor, to boot.

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Zentralfriedhof 8 Herbeck8. Johann Ritter von Herbeck (1831-1877)

Herbeck is most famous for promoting and conducting the premier of Schubert’s “Unfinished Symphony” in 1865, over 40 years after it was written.

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Zentralfriedhof 9 Brahms9. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Though German by birth, Brahms spent most of his professional life in Vienna. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time, right up there with Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.

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Zentralfriedhof 10 Eduard Strauss10. Eduard Strauss (1835-1916)

The third Strauss brother took over management of the family orchestra upon the death of Josef in 1870 until his own retirement in 1901.

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Zentralfriedhof 11 Geistinger11. Marie Geistinger (1836-1903)

Nicknamed “The Queen of the Operetta”, Geistinger appeared in numerous stagings of works by Offenbach, Strauss II, Millöcker and von Suppé, both in Vienna and New York City.

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Zentralfriedhof 12 Millocker12. Carl Millöcker (1842-1899)

Millöcker’s operetta “Der Bettelstudent” is generally considered his masterpiece. A later work, “Der Feldprediger“, was more successful on Broadway than in Vienna.

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Zentralfriedhof 13 Fuchs13. Robert Fuchs (1847-1927)

Though an accomplished composer, Fuchs is noted more for his teaching. He counted Gustav Mahler, Hugo Wolf, Jean Sibelius, Alexander von Zemlinsky and Franz Schmidt among his many students at the Vienna Conservatory.

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Zentralfriedhof 14 Kienzl14. Wilhelm Kienzl (1857-1941)

In 1927, on his 70th birthday, Kienzl conducted a performance of his most enduring work, “Der Evangelimann”, at the Vienna State Opera with Lotte Lehmann singing the lead female role.

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Zentralfriedhof 15 Drdla15. František Drdla (1868-1944)

This Czech-born composer lived and worked almost exclusively out of Vienna upon completion of his formal studies. He wrote hundreds of salon pieces for violin and piano and toured the U.S. from 1923 to 1925.

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Zentralfriedhof 16 Pfitzner16. Hans Pfitzner (1869-1949)

Regarding his most famous opera, Pfitzner said: “Despite all the dark experiences of today I am still confident that ‘Palestrina’ will remain. The work has all the elements of immortality”.

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Zentralfriedhof 17 Zemlinsky17. Alexander von Zemlinsky (1871-1942)

Close friend and pupil Arnold Schönberg married Zemlinsky’s sister, Mathilde, and also wrote the vocal score for Zemlinsky’s opera “Sarema“.

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Zentralfriedhof 18 Bittner18. Julius Bittner (1874-1939)

Bittner was an accomplished lawyer and jurist in addition to his successes as a composer.

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Zentralfriedhof 19 Schonberg19. Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951)

Schönberg’s Jewish ancestry and the rise of Nazism in Europe prompted his immigration to the United States in 1933. He taught at both USC and UCLA and became a U.S. citizen in 1941.

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Zentralfriedhof 20 Schmidt20. Franz Schmidt (1874-1939)

Some classical music historians attribute Schmidt’s modern day obscurity to his perceived approval of the Nazi regime. Others say it was the time he told a young Herbert Von Karajan he had no future in conducting.

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Zentralfriedhof 21 Gunther21. Mizzi Günther (1879-1961)

Günther was perhaps most famous for playing the lead role of Hanna Glawari in Franz Lehár’s “The Merry Widow” when it first opened in Vienna in 1905.

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Zentralfriedhof 22 Stolz22. Robert Stolz (1880-1975)

In the late 30s Stolz smuggled numerous Jews and political refugees over the German-Austrian border.

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Zentralfriedhof 23 Lehmann23. Lotte Lehmann (1888-1976)

This German soprano graced the cover of Time Magazine on February 18th, 1935.

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Zentralfriedhof 24 Mardayn24. Christl Mardayn (1896-1971)

This singer and actress of Austrian birth sang numerous operatic roles in the 20s and transitioned to primarily speaking roles by the 1930s, amassing nearly 30 film credits between 1932 and 1963.

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Zentralfriedhof 25 Swarowsky25. Hans Swarowsky (1899-1975)

An accomplished Hungarian-born conductor of Jewish descent who studied under Richard Strauss, Anton Webern and Arnold Schönberg.

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Zentralfriedhof 26 Apostel26. Hans Erich Apostel (1901-1972)

This German-born composer counted Schönberg among his teachers, and painter Emil Nolde among his friends.

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Zentralfriedhof 27 Lorenz27. Max Lorenz (1901-1975)

Despite his marriage to a woman, this hugely famous German operatic tenor was gay and shielded from Nazi persecution by none other than Hermann Göring, and some say even Hitler himself.

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Zentralfriedhof 28 Jelinek28. Hanns Jelinek (1901-1969)

Beginning in 1934, this student of Franz Schmidt and Schönberg wrote almost exclusively in Schönberg’s “Twelve-tone” technique.

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Zentralfriedhof 29 Kaufmann29. Armin Kaufmann (1902-1980)

In addition to his composing, Kaufmann taught at the Vienna Conservatory from ’28 to ’38, and played violin in the Vienna Symphony from 1938 to 1966.

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Zentralfriedhof 30 Konetzni30. Hilde Konetzni (1905-1980)

In 1929, this Austrian operatic soprano made her professional debut in the role of Sieglinde in a staging of Wagner’s “Die Walküre“, singing opposite her sister, Anny, in the role of Brünnhilde.

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Zentralfriedhof 31 Rubin31. Marcel Rubin (1905-1995)

A native of Vienna, this obscure composer studied under Franz Schmidt and wrote ten symphonies.

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Zentralfriedhof 32 Boskovsky32. Willi Boskovsky (1909-1991)

Boskovsky conducted the world-famous Vienna New Year’s Concert every year from 1955 to 1979. He also recorded extensively for Decca with a variety of combos, and served as the Vienna Philharmonic concertmaster from 1936 to 1979.

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Zentralfriedhof 33 Welitsch33. Ljuba Welitsch (1913-1996)

This Bulgarian-born soprano is most famous for her 1949 debut performance in the role of “Salome” in the Richard Strauss opera of the same name at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

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Zentralfriedhof 34 Donch34. Karl Dönch (1915-1994)

Our video link features this Austrian bass-baritone in the role of Lotteringhi, singing the “Cooper’s Song”, from a televised 1966 production of Suppé’s comic operetta, “Boccaccio“.

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Zentralfriedhof 35 Neubrand35. Heinz Neubrand (1921-1998)

This Austrian bandleader, pianist and songwriter composed for film, television and advertising. Our video link features a song co-written by Neubrand with music by his orchestra and vocals by obscure Pittsburgh-born actress, Olive Moorefield.

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Zentralfriedhof 36 Ligeti36. Györgi Ligeti (1923-2006)

Ligeti’s “Lux Aeterna” was featured in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 cinematic masterpiece, “2001: A Space Odyssey“.

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Zentralfriedhof 37 Rysanek37. Leonie Rysanek (1926-1998)

This soprano and native of Vienna recorded extensively on RCA, EMI, Decca and Deutsche Grammophon. Between 1959 and 1996 she sang 299 times in 24 roles at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

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Zentralfriedhof 38 Kmentt38. Waldemar Kmentt (1929-2015)

Kmentt, a prolific Austrian operatic tenor, passed so recently that a permanent headstone has yet to be placed.

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Zentralfriedhof 39 Zawinul39. Joe Zawinul (1932-2007)

A Grammy-winning keyboardist who recorded with Cannonball Adderly, toured with Dinah Washington, co-wrote the title track of Miles Davis’ “In A Silent Way” and co-founded Weather Report.

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Zentralfriedhof 40 Jurgens40. Udo Jürgens (1934-2014)

This Austrian pop star authored hundreds of songs over the course of his 50+ year career. Click on his name above to see him perform with the Mary Wilson-era Supremes on European television in 1977.

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Zentralfriedhof 41 Hauenstein41. Kurt Johann Hauenstein (1949-2011)

Known primarily for his band, Supermax, a mixed race disco-rock outfit that recorded for Atlantic and Elektra, and bravely toured South Africa in 1981.

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Zentralfriedhof 42 Zobl42. Wilhelm Zobl (1950-1991)

We know very little about this obscure Viennese post-modernist, but had to include him after hearing his album “Ändere Die Welt, Sie Braucht Es” on YouTube. The title loosely translates to “Change The World, It Needs It“.

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Zentralfriedhof 43 Falco43. Falco aka Hans Hölzel (1957-1998)

While only marginally famous in England and the States, the “Rock Me Amadeus” singer enjoyed nearly two decades of super-stardom in his native Austria before dying in a car crash at the age of 40.

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Zentralfriedhof 44 Kreizberg44. Yakov Kreizberg (1959-2011)

This accomplished Russian-American conductor studied under the legendary Leonard Bernstein, and also won the Eugene Ormandy Prize while pursuing his doctorate in conducting at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

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Zentralfriedhof Borromeo Lueger Chapel

About the author

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Dale Carlson grew up along the northeastern shores of Lake Michigan, where at a young age Detroit called out to him in his dreams. In 2008, after extended stays in ten different Michigan cities, the author settled permanently in southeast Oakland County where he currently lives and works in various capacities within the local real estate industry.

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