Křenek, Ernst

Alternative names
Birth 1900-08-23
Death 1991-12-22
German, English

Biographical notes:

Krenek was an Austro-American composer. Robert Holliday was the director of the Hamline University Choir, St. Paul, Minn. Krenek was chair of the Hamline University Music Dept. the first six years of Holliday's tenure as director.

From the description of Letters : to Robert Holliday, 1943-1976. (University of California, San Diego). WorldCat record id: 33996728

Commissioned by The Louisville Orchestra. Composed 1954. First performance Louisville, Kentucky, 12 February 1955, The Louisville Orchestra, Robert Whitney conductor.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Eleven transparencies / Ernst Krenek. c1954. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 50284945

American composer of Austrian birth.

From the description of "From the 8th String Quartet / Op. 233 (1980/81)" : autograph manuscript, 1982 Oct. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270566569

From the description of Autograph letters signed (2), dated : Berlin, 15 May and 26 June 1923, to [Hermann] Scherchen, 1923 May 15 and June 26. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270670691

Krenek was married to Anna Mahler from approximately 1924 to 1928.

From the description of Correspondence to Alma Mahler, Franz Werfel, and Adolf Klarmann, 1922-ca. 1963. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155863714

Austrian-American composer.

From the description of Correspondence with Albert Goldberg, 1950-1957. (University of California, San Diego). WorldCat record id: 31402349

Composer Ernst Krenek was born in Austria. He experienced great early success, but was compelled to emigrate to America during World War II. He lived in America for the rest of his long and productive life, retaining a European sensibility, and never quite fitting in with the American musical mainstream.

From the description of Ernst Krenek letter and offprints, 1958-1964. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 51851911

Commissioned by the Kammerorchester Basel, 1938. Composed 1939. First performance Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1 August 1939, University of Michigan Summer Session Symphony Orchestra, the composer conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphonic piece for string orchestra : op. 86 : 1939 / Ernst Krenek. [1939] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 50285286


Mildred Goldstein studied music at Vassar College under Ernst Krenek, from 1940 to 1942. After graduation, Goldstein worked as both an instructor of music literature at Vassar College as well as a composer and lyricist. In 1950, she married Bernard Kayden, taking his name and composing under the name Mildred Kayden. During her career, Kayden wrote scores for musicals such as Call the Children Back and Storyville .

From the guide to the Mildred Kayden. Letters from Ernst Krenek, 1940-1986, (Mandeville Special Collections Library)

Biography / Administrative History

Ernest Krenek (1900-1991) was an Austrian American composer known for his chamber music, opearas, orchestral works and eletronic music. He studied in Vienna and Berlin. In 1925 he became a conductor at the opera house in Kassel. His jazz opera Johnny Stikes Up (1926), and was translated into many languages. In 1928 he returned to Vienna. In the 1930s he gradually adopted the twelve-tone technique used by Arnold Schoenberg. In 1937, he moved to the United States, where became a citizen in 1945. There, he taught and composed chamber, orchestral, choral, and electronic music and wrote operas.

From the guide to the Krenek Festival tapes, 1979, 1979, (University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections)


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  • Songs (High voice) with instrumental ensemble--Scores and parts
  • String quartets--Scores
  • Music festivals
  • Songs (Medium voice) with instrumental ensemble--Scores
  • Izler Solomon Collection
  • Music--Manuscripts--Facsimiles
  • Concertos (Violin and piano with chamber orchestra)--Scores
  • Composers--Correspondence
  • Concertos (Piano)--Scores
  • Krenek, Ernst, 1900-1991
  • Sonatas (Piano)--Excerpts
  • Piano music (Pianos (2))
  • Modern music
  • Opera--Scores
  • Violoncello with orchestra--Scores
  • Musical sketches
  • Electronic music
  • Piano music (pianos (2)--Scores
  • Orchestral music--Scores and parts
  • Dance music--Scores
  • Chamber orchestra music--Excerpts
  • Instrumental ensembles--Scores
  • Composers
  • Concertos (Violoncello )--Scores
  • Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices), unaccompanied
  • Music--Congresses
  • Composers--20th century--Correspondence
  • Music--Manuscripts
  • Variations (Piano)
  • Composers--Biography
  • Concerts--California--Santa Barbara
  • String quartets--Excerpts
  • String orchestra music--Scores and parts
  • Music--20th century


  • Composers


  • United States (as recorded)
  • Austria (as recorded)