Goetz Teutsch (photo: Monika Rittershaus)

Chamber Music

Philharmonic Salon: guests of Berta Zuckerkandl

Around 1900, Vienna’s artistic elite met at the home of the salonnière Berta Zuckerkandl. The dinner in November 1901 is the stuff of legend: Gustav Mahler fell head over heels in love with young Alma Schindler there, marrying her shortly thereafter. Götz Teutsch will trace this and other stories in music and text at his Philharmonic Salon, creating striking images of high society life in Vienna at the turn of the century. The texts will be performed by Austrian actor Peter Matić.

Peter Matić Speaker

Cornelia Gartemann Violin

Marlene Ito Violin

Martin von der Nahmer Viola

Jakob Stepp Cello

Michael Hasel Flute

Alexander Bader Clarinet

YaoYao Brandenburg Harmonium

Cordelia Höfer Piano

Götz Teutsch Programme Supervision

Berta Zuckerkandl – Images from Fin-de-siècle Vienna

Music by Johann Strauß, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Alexander Zemlinsky, Werner Richard Heymann and other composers

Texts by Berta Zuckerkandl, Hermann Bahr, Johann Strauß, Friedrich Torberg, Stefan Zweig, Georg Kreisler, Lucian O. Meysels and other authors

Dates and Tickets


Although Gustav Mahler is considered a composer of the Viennese fin de siècle, he had little to do with the city’s vibrant social life. Only after prolonged hesitation and with reservations did he agree to join when Berta Zuckerkandl, who maintained one of the most exclusive Viennese salons, invited him to dinner in November 1901: Mahler affected that he did not want to meet any other guests, and that by the way he would eat only Graham bread and apples from Merano. The salonnière nonchalantly ignored the instructions of the famous court opera director and invited the painters Gustav Klimt, Carl Moll as well as a few other visitors – no doubt she also deviated from the prescribed series of dishes. That the evening was nonetheless a success was ensured by Carl Moll, who attended accompanied by his step-daughter Alma Schindler, who had already confided in her diary in December 1898 to be “effectively” in love with Mahler.

They animatedly discussed Zemlinsky’s ballet Der Triumph der Zeit based on Hofmannsthal, which Mahler rejected as impossible to perform: “I must say,” Alma Schindler wrote, “I liked him enormously.” “Right after the evening at my place,” Berta Zuckerkandl noted down, “[Mahler] visited Mrs. Moll, Alma’s mother, […] thawed, forgot his ascetic worldview, became young and foolishly in love.” At his Philharmonic Salon, Götz Teutsch will trace high society life in Vienna at the turn of the century – and not only with this story. Music by Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, Johann Strauß, Alexander Zemlinsky and others will be played by members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, while texts are shaped by the Austrian actor Peter Matić.

Goetz Teutsch (photo: Monika Rittershaus)