Kienzl, Wilhelm


Composer of operas and songs; born at Waisenkirchen, Upper Austria. Moved to Gratz about 1861 and became a student at the Gratz Gymnasium, where he studied piano under Ignaz Uhl, Buva, Remy, Mortier de Fontaine and composition of Dr. W. Mayer. He studied at the University of Prague in 1875 and took counterpoint of Joseph Krejci. In Leipsic he followed lecture courses with Overbeck, Paul and Springer. In 1877 he went to Vienna, and there took the degree of Doctor of Philology, with the treatise, Die Musikalische Declamation. He also studied with Liszt at Weimar. He was an ardent admirer of Wagner, and for a time lived at Bayreuth, but, owing to the great master's intolerance of the success of others, their friendship was not lasting. Wagner had a very strong influence on Kienzl's work. In 1880 he lectured on musical subjects at Munich, and during 1881 and 1882 he made a successful concert tour through northern Germany  and Hungary with Sahla and Aylaja Orgeni. He held a position as opera director at Amsterdam and later at Crefeld, then went to Gratz as director of the Styrian Musicverein, and conductor of other local societies. In 1890 he went to Hamburg, where for two 3 r ears he held the position of Kapellmeister, then for a year to Munich as Hofkapellmeister. Since 1899 he has lived at Gratz, devoting himself to composition. His first opera was Uryasi, produced at Dresden in 1886; it was followed by Heilmar der Narr, then by Evangelimann, His most successful opera, which has been translated into seven languages and heard in over a hundred and fifty different theatres. In 1&98 his Don Quixote was produced in Berlin. Kienzl is also noted for a great number of songs and piano pieces; for an edition of Mozart's Titus; and for Miscellen, a prose writing treating of Wagner and Bayreuth.