The archive recently acquired an autograph letter, written by Arnold Schönberg in 1911. It will be displayed as part of the special exhibition »Arnold Schönberg & Jung-Wien«. The Adressee of this letter is Schönberg's friend from youth, the dramaturg Arthur Kahane. 

Arthur Kahane studied literature and philosophy; during the Jung-Wien era he was known as the author of songs and as an actor who enjoyed connections – similarly to Schönberg – with the workers’ cultural association, and gave a talk on modern literature for the association’s lecture series.

In the summer of 1902 he was appointed as dramaturge by Max Reinhardt for his cabaret “Schall und Rauch”. Three years later he followed Reinhardt to the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, and remained linked to this theater until his death. After moving to Berlin in the fall of 1911, Arnold Schönberg attempted to revive former contacts from his student days who had already established a network in the city. Following a call for support by Schönberg’s pupils and friends in the periodical “Pan”, which also attracted wider attention in contemporary newspapers Kahane  was involved in the distribution of incoming payments, as is revealed in a letter by Schönberg to Arthur Kahane dated December 1, 1911. In addition, the composer was particularly keen to see his old Jung-Wien friends among the listeners at his lectures on aesthetics and theory of composition at Stern Conservatory:

“Dear Kahane, I was told at the time that that Baron Gersdorff had contributed the sum of 800 marks for me. As I have only received 500 so far, I would very much like to receive the rest soon. [...] It is a pity that you are not attending my lectures. I am going to discuss this with you all! It is about beauty, getting down to the root of it.”

Source: Arnold Schönberg an Arthur Kahane, 1. Dezember 1911 (Arnold Schönberg Center, Wien [SatColl F11] | ASCC ID 23967)

 

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