Cluster „The Vocal Oevre of Exil Composers“ – Gerold Gruber


Josipa BAINAC HAUSKNECHT is a singer and vocal pedagogue currently pursuing a PhD in Voice Science at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna - mdw. She completed her studies in voice and vocal pedagogy at the mdw and at the Academy of Music in Zagreb. In addition to teaching voice at the mdw and working as a pre-doctoral voice researcher at the University Mozarteum Salzburg, she continues to perform in recitals worldwide and is active as a recording artist. She has received a number of prestigious awards for her interpretations of the classical vocal repertoire as well as premieres of contemporary music, including the Gottlob Frick Medal (Germany, 2019), the International Hilde Zadek Singing Competition (Vienna, 2019), the Ada Sari Prize (Poland, 2017), the Isolde Langowski Prize for Art Song (Germany, 2015), and others. More at:

David HAUSKNECHT is a pianist and chamber musician currently working as an accompanist at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna - mdw. During his studies at Jan Neruda School in Prague he received additional training as a conductor.

He debuted in 2006 with Mozart's last piano concerto KV 595 at the Rudolfinum Hall in Prague with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zdenek Macal. In June 2016 David completed his piano studies with a specialization in chamber music at the mdw. He is a winner of numerous international competitions, i.a. Prague Junior Note (2004), International Carl Czerny Competition (2005), Virtuosi per musica di pianoforte (2007), as well as laureate of the Dresdner Anton G. Rubinstein Competition (2009), Brahms Competition Pörtschach (2012 & 2013), Ada Sari Vocal Accompanist Award (2017), and others. He debuted as a recording artist under the label Schwechtenstein-Records  in 2018 with works by Leos Janacek on the original piano of the composer, restored by the Piano Atelier Hecher in Vienna.

A Sing in Exile – Wilhelm Grosz

In May 1939, the well-known Austrian composer, conductor and pianist Wilhelm Grosz came to New York to compose the music for the Hollywood film Along the Santa Fé Trail. He created several hits in a very short time, with the film's theme song being a tango Grosz had written for tenor Joseph Schmidt in 1929. He died only 7 months later, in December 1939, leaving behind an immeasurably valuable musical oeuvre.1 Those who study his vocal work come to know a very intellectual and sensitive artist, but also a humorous and original musician who adopted elements and characters of the popular music of his time, such as the dry sarcasm of the Viennese-Berlin cabaret songs, but also the flourishing sound of the musicals and film tunes of his many homelands; forced to become a citizen of the world, the Viennese-born composer fled both Austria and Germany, leaving behind a successful career as an opera director (Mannheim Opera, Kammerspiele in Vienna), composer (his opera Sganarell was premiered in Vienna in 1918) and record producer (Ultraphone Gramophone Company Berlin). In 1934 he emigrated to England and established himself as a composer for the music publishers of London's “Tin Pan Alley” _with hits such as Red Sails in the Sunset, Harbour Lights and Isle of Capri with lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy.2 His piano accompaniment tends to be blocky-homophonic, with lapidary harmonies drawn more from jazz or British "music hall" theatrical entertainment style than from late Romantic forms.

From his compositional means (harmonical setting, melodic line) one can read his expectations of a singing voice; a rhythmic, lyric-oriented, gladly somewhat coarse performance style, even a chanson of his kind. His passion for traditional songs and dances inspired him to arrangements of Eastern Jewish folk songs, love songs, children's songs, which carry an element of his never forgotten and beloved homeland - Austria.3 A Song in Exile is in traditional ABA form, the main part being a march. Grosz has kept the typical march rhythm in the voice, which sometimes leads to prosodic peculiarities. In the middle section, which also has the function of a lyrical novella, the vocal line is much more organic, but still the treatment of the voice is determined by the text. On the other hand, the song
Great Times requires a somewhat different vocalization, indicated mainly by the "tempo of the blues". The presentation is intended as a musical “walk”/_Spaziergang with Wilhelm Grosz through Vienna, through his songs, through the message conveyed by his life and work, which is still valid today.

1 Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th ed. 1954 2 3 Artistic Presentation Proposal

BURT Diane

Soprano Diane Burt is a recent Doctor of Arts graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Previously, she taught private voice, opera workshop, and music education classes at Brigham Young University-Idaho and at Idaho State University. She is published in the 2014 September/October Journal of Singing: “Temporomandibular Dysfunction and the Developing Singer” (TMD). She presented the article on TMD and also “The Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet in the Choral Rehearsal” at the eighth International Congress of Voice Teachers (ICVT), Brisbane, Australia (2013). Her poster presentations include: “Sleep Apnea in Singers” at the 55th National Conference of NATS, Las Vegas, Nevada (2018) and at the ninth ICVT, Stockholm, Sweden (2017), (TMD) at the 52nd National Conference of NATS, Orlando, Florida (2012) “Vocal Health” at the 51st National Conference of NATS, Salt Lake City, Utah (2010). She has performed over twenty-five faculty recitals and thirty-five guest recitals. Her operatic experience includes many staged leading and supporting roles. She also performs in sacred and oratorio settings and volunteers for community and high school vocal coaching in staged productions.

Text-Music Relationships in Selected Lieder of Erich Wolfgang Korngold

This lecture presents musical elements, stylistic characteristics, and interpretation of poetry in selected Lieder of Eric Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957.) Korngold's unique compositional style uses form, proportion and rhythm, pitch language, tempo, dynamics, vocal quality, and symbolic materials to enhance the text. Short musical selections will be presented form my doctoral dissertation and lecture recital. Text-music relationships will be discussed in representative Lieder from Opus 9, Opus 14, Opus 27, Opus 29, Opus 38, and "Ich Soll Ihn Niemals" from Die Katrin.

Most of Korngold's works during his Vienna period were unknown during his lifetime because of Antisemitism led by Adolf Hitler. However, Die Tote Stadt and Opus 14 were performed before Hitler's invasion. Because of his Jewish heritage, Korngold's music was banned in Europe in the 1930's. However, he received an invitation from Max Reinardt to compose film music for Warner Brothers in California, USA which led him to move his family to California. Nazi troops seized his home in Vienna, but friends gathered most of Korngold's original manuscripts of his compositions from his basement and sent them to Hollywood a page at a time in Beethoven and Strauss scores. While in Hollywood, Korngold composed Opus 29, "Songs of the Clown" and Opus 38 which are some of his later song compositions. The other selections are from early and middle Vienna Lieder.

It is often expected that the style of a composer will become more complex throughout his life. However, there are certain characteristics of Korngold's style which he established and retained, making Korngold's style particularly interesting. At the age of ten, Korngold played his cantata Gold for Gustave Mahler. Mahler proclaimed Korngold a genius and sent him to study composition with Alexander von Zemlinsky. "Liebesbriefchen", Opus 9 was composed when Korngold was with Zemlinsky. Opus 9 contains stylistic characteristics that can be seen from Opus 14 through Opus 38.


This lecture recital will give an overview of the life and Lieder of Viennese composer-pianist Walter Bricht, who prior to World War II performed and composed with success in Vienna’s rich music scene and a promising broader European career. His mother was an established operatic soprano, who he accompanied in recitals, and his father a music critic. Insight will be gained on Bricht’s musical style by considering his close relationship with teacher Franz Schmidt and proximity to composers like Brahms and Strauss, both acquaintances of Bricht’s mother. Rather than accepting an “honorary Aryan-ship” upon the Anschluss of Austria,

Bricht immigrated to the United States where he taught at various music universities. Two Bricht Lieder will be performed, and the lecture will give an overview of his (currently unpublished) songs that are approximately 100 in total. Poetic themes, text setting, tessitura and other distinguishing aspects of his lush, beautiful late Romantic Lieder will be discussed, along with possible programming ideas. It is fitting that this lecture on Bricht and his Lieder is  to be given at the ICVT’s Vienna gathering, as his compositional output overwhelmingly took place in Vienna prior to his emigration.


The Vienna-born soprano studied singing, music drama, song and oratorio, vocal pedagogy and music education (majoring in piano as well as flute and singing) at the University of Music and Performing Arts in her hometown as well as English/American Studies at the University of Vienna. Appreciation Award of the Federal Minister of Education and the Arts.

Since completing her studies, she has impersonated numerous opera and operetta roles of the light lyrical soprano at theaters and at festivals at home and abroad. With great interest in the music theatre of the 20th century, Judith Kopecky created three roles in the course of her career: Ärmeli in Dolores by Dieter Kaufmann, the soprano role in Der Venusmond by Burkhard Stangl and the role of Bärbl in Riese, Zwerge, Menschenfresser by Gerhard Schedl. Another focus is on her concert activities in collaboration with renowned orchestras and conductors with a broad repertoire from baroque music to contemporary music. The regular participation in performances of church music works, a series of radio and TV broadcasts as well as multiple participation in CD productions document the versatility of the artist. To this day Art Songs are of particular interest, concert tours have led through Europe, Japan, Canada and the USA. In recent years the soprano has increasingly devoted herself to the artistic reappraisal of musical estates. One result of this confrontation is the Cd exiles, on which, in addition to songs by Alexander Zemlinsky and Erich Wolfgang Korngold, compositions by Franz Mittler, Viktor Urbancic and Egon Wellesz can be heard.


  • 2012 Habilitation in singing at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

  • 2016 Appointment as Professor of Voice at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

  • since 2018 Head of the Antonio Salieri Institute of Vocal Studies and Vocal Research in Music Education at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

  • 2021 Doctorate in Musicology on Contemporary Austrian Art Songs of the Interwar Period

Faded Voices – Forgotten Songs. Ways to approch unknown repertoire

If one seriously thinks about integrating the numerous forgotten or little remembered Art Songs of past years into the current concert and teaching repertoire, then it probably will not be enough just to find compositions and make the sheet music accessible. It is the lack of recordings as well as interrupted performance traditions that often make potential interested persons hesitate to deal with unknown repertoire.

However, if one takes into account the important role that singers play in the mediation of vocal literature of their time, the creation of corresponding vocal profiles, i.e. the reconstruction of individual vocal characteristics, can contribute to the clarification of casting questions and provide information on interpretation. Furthermore, an analysis of the forgotten compositions themselves allows a detailed description of the vocal and musical requirements. This can also be extremely helpful for vocal and vocal pedagogical practice and serve as an introductory aid for dealing with unknown literature.

By using the example of the mezzo-soprano Marianne Mislap-Kapper and selected compositions by Franz Mittler this way of approaching unknown repertoire shall be illustrated. In the interwar years Marianne Mislap-Kapper had appeared, especially in Vienna, as a sought-after interpreter of contemporary Austrian Art Songs and had thus been able to help young composers such as Eric Zeisl, Hugo Kauder or Trude Kandl to their first successes. She had a long-standing musical partnership with the pianist and composer Franz Mittler, which came to a sudden end in 1938, when both had to leave the country because of their Jewish origins.

PETERSEN Katherine

Soprano, Dr. Katherine Petersen specializes in the performance of 21st-century music for voice/saxophone and Russian art song. Katherine can often be heard singing with Chicago Folks Operetta, the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Chicago Opera Theater, among other companies. Recent roles include Bessie Throckmorton (Merrie England), Brigitta (Iolanta), Contessa (Marriage of Figaro), Counsel to the Plaintiff (Trial by Jury), Lady of the Lake (Masque at Kenilworth), and Sylva Varescu (Csardas Princess). Other favorite roles include Musetta (La bohème), Valencienne (Merry Widow), Francesca (Francesca di Rimini-Rachmaninoff), and Micaëla (Carmen). Katherine is Assistant Professor and Head of the Voice Area at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago where she teaches Pedagogy, Song Literature, Studio Voice, and Diction for Singers. She holds a DMA in Voice Performance from Ohio State University where she studied with Scott McCoy. She was a participant in the 2018 Voice Pedagogy Summit II at USC, the 2017 NATS Intern Program in Toronto, and was co-host of the International Voice Pedagogy Summit I at OSU in 2015. She has presented research and/or performed at the International Navy Saxophone Symposium, the Hawaii International Conference for Arts and Humanities, Chicago Chapter NATS conferences, Central Region NATS conferences, ICVT 2017, and PAVA 2017.

Dr. Christopher Owen, an active pianist, harpsichordist, and organist, will accompany Katherine. He is the Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music Education at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois.  He conducts the NEIU Chamber Singers, University Chorus, teaches choral conducting, vocal music methods, and conducts the yearly opera. In addition to his work at the university, Dr. Owen is a sought-after clinician and adjudicator, and is a contributing author to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir Series. As a performer he serves as a conductor and chorus master for Vox3 Collective, Chicago Opera Vanguard, and is the Director of Music at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Evanston. His work as a conductor has also had him on the podium in front of the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble, Chicago Brass Festival, the Minnesota Chorale, the Minnesota Oratorio Society, Omaha All-City Chorus, and the Chorakademie am Konzerthaus Dortmund in Germany. 

Condemned Cosmopolitanism in Russian Art Song

This lecture recital explores the defiantly persistent cosmopolitan tendencies exhibited by some composers as they sought to develop Russian art song in the twentieth century. After experiencing significant European influence and supremacy during the reign of Catherine the Great, Russia sought to define itself on a global scale through the arts, politics, and trade. As severity of nationalistic sentiments fluctuated in the 18th through the 20th centuries, consequences for more cosmopolitan composers varied wildly from written critiques to imprisonment, exile, and death. The turn of the twentieth century brought major losses in World War I, Russian civil war, and the ensuing navigation of the burgeoning Communist regime. As Soviet civilians explored new socio-political territory, expectations for cultural expression were established initiating an irascible relationship between nationalist (often anti-Semitic) insiders and those who were considered foreign sympathizers.

This acrimonious division intensified as the Soviet Union used the arts to ratify and demonstrate totalitarian ideology and policy over popular and bourgeois cultures. Advisory bodies like the Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians were established to connect and promote artists who could fulfill the regime’s needs. Unfortunately, many composers found themselves at odds with the government censorship and cultural doctrines like the Zhdanovshchina of 1948. The subsequent fear, anxiety, and artistic compromise experienced by many composers are familiar to us as narrated in the biographies of Prokofiev and Shostakovich. However, this lecture recital will present these pernicious experiences through the life and works of Mieczysław Weinberg, a composer whose prolificacy and unparalleled artistic voice bolster his reputation as one of the Soviet Union’s greatest composers. Audiences will hear contrasting selections from his Opus 25 (1945) and Opus 110 (1973) to compare the folk-influenced, neo-Romantic tendencies of his earlier works with the more complex use of free tonality that he employed as his standard of living improved later in his life. This lecture recital is a follow-up to materials presented at the Central Region NATS conferences in 2020 (Condemned Cosmopolitanism) and 2021 (Cosmopolitanism, Continued). The aim of this project is to unearth and share beautiful, yet obscure song repertoire in the Russian Romance tradition.


I propose to perform a short lecture recital on the works and influences of Jewish, Austrian-born composer, Robert Fürstenthal. Fürstenthal, though kept out of the mdw as a young composer, composed over a hundred Lieder as well as quartets, and small-scale works in the style of the late nineteenth century. Fleeing from Austria during the rise of the Third Reich, Fürstenthal lived many years in San Diego and only resumed composing in 1973 after regaining contact with his first love, Franziska Trinczer. My proposed recital would last approximately 15 minutes and include a performance and discussion of two of his vocal works.


Born in 1887 in Vienna, Austria, Egon Lustgarten was a prolific composer of numerous art songs and five operas. Conductor Joseph Krips called Lustgarten’s immense three-act opera, Dante im Exil, “the best opera of the twentieth century,” yet Lustgarten’s work and life are largely unknown. After being forced to emigrate in 1938 due to the Anschluss of Austria by Nazi Germany, Lustgarten struggled financially and professionally until his death in 1961, and his rich legacy of musical work lies in obscurity. In this presentation, I will offer examples of Egon Lustgarten’s music before and after emigration, and discuss how his spirituality,

attraction to Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophical teachings, and the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, or the obligation to heal the world, changed his compositional style to the Märchenopern (fairy tale operas) that would dominate his work for the rest of his life.

Katharina RÖSSNER

Prof. Katharina Rössner-Stütz is a professor of voice at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She teaches studio voice and vocal pedagogy classes in the voice department/Music Education. She holds a DMA in voice and voice science of Lousiana State University and a Magister Artium of the Music University Vienna, Austria.

The Songoutput of the Austro-American Composer Erich Zeisl (1905-1959)

This artistic presentation will be in two parts: part 1 will be a short lecture about relevant steps in the career of the composer, followed by a close look into the very personal musical style of the songoutput of Zeisl. Part 2 will be the actual artistic presentation of chosen songs. To give a representative overview of the existing songs I have chosen several published as well as unpublished songs which show the broad spectrum of moods and choice of poets in Zeisl’s output of songs.

The songs of Zeisl have been performed and recorded by relevant artists of the field, like Thomas Hampson, Wolfgang Holzmair or Adrian Eröd. Still, they are not yet establised as standard Lied concert repertoire and a vast number of them is still unpublished to this date.

The aim of this presentation is to bring greater awareness to the songs of this
composer by discussing his specific musical style and by making audible the very personal sound of Zeisl’s music. I wish to make a contribution toward introducing them again to the public at large and to see them added to the standard concert repertoire. Furthermore, my wish is to make known the existence of the many yet unpublished songs, which have been kindly provided to me by Dr. Barbara Zeisl-Schönberg. They all deserve to be published and regularly performed.