The 1896 Vienna Tonkünstler-verein Competition: the Three Award-winning Works and Seven Anonymous Submissions with Clarinet
Description: The Vienna Tonkünstler-Verein (1885-1929) was established for the sole purpose of providing extensive support to the music and musicians of Vienna. The society became renowned in Vienna for its outstanding performances of chamber music and counted among its members many of the city’s foremost musicians and composers. Johannes Brahms had a significant influence on the society as its honorary president and assisted in establishing its composition competitions, aimed at promoting and reviving under-developed chamber genres. Of particular interest to clarinetists is the Verein’s competition of 1896, which aspired to promote chamber music literature for wind instruments. Brahms’s recently completed chamber works for clarinet were clearly influential in fin-de-siècle Vienna; for of the twelve works chosen as finalists in the competition, ten included the clarinet in the chamber combination.The purpose of this document is to provide an English-language history of the Vienna Tonkünstler-Verein and a thorough account of its1896 competition based on my study of the society’s annual reports. In addition, this document will provide the first published account of the anonymous submissions for the 1896 competition. It is my hope that this paper will serve as a springboard for future endeavors aimed at uncovering the identities of the anonymous finalists for this competition.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Harrell, Andrea