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Vilma von Webenau – Find dripped tracks-

Vilma von Webenau  -Find dripped tracks-

Vilma von Webenau (1875–1953) was an Austrian composer. Her grandmother was composer Julie von Webenau (1813–1887) who was a student of Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart (1791–1844) and a close friend to Robert (1810–1856) and Clara Schumann (1819–1896). It is said that Julie was an illegitimate daughter of Franz Xaver Wolfgang. Is Vilma von Webenau a part of the Mozart family in the direct line?

Since 2014 I search for her life and work in a forensic research: She gave concerts in London and Vienna, was the very first private student of Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951) between 1898/99 and 1902, and maybe is the missing link between Schoenberg and the Blaue Reiter art group around Gabriele Münter (1877–1962) and Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944) in Munich.

Vilma von Webenau

Vilma von Webenau grew up in Constantinople and Vienna and was the piano student of Cäcilie Frank (1851–1936?, accompanist of Arnold Rosé, 1863–1946), who ran an illustrious musical salon. There Vilma received a comprehensive artistic education. Thereafter, she lived as a music teacher in Vienna, where her works were first performed in 1907 publicly. According to newest researches Arnold Schoenberg has had a three-digit (!) number of women (!) composition students. Where are their works? What can they tell about Schoenberg himself? A huge network to discover and a huge amount to research: I couldn’t find her name in the lists of the Reichsmusikkammer (Reich Music Chamber). Maybe a reason for her social decline and her death in poverty?

Vilma von Webenau‘s known musical estate with about 120 handwritten originals is in the National Library of Austria (ÖNB) in Vienna. The Certosa Publishing Company works currently to publish her works piece by piece, including my biography (spring 2020) about Vilma for further researches as a current score. Vilma von Webenau’s works are touching images of a dawning time and an exceptional woman. And what about her recently found grave?

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Susanne Wosnitzka

Musicologist specialised in women composers | current researches for Vilma Webenau (1st student of Arnold Schoenberg) | freelancer for Archiv Frau und Musik

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