Austro-Bohemian Romantic composer and conductor Gustav Mahler symbolized the transition of 19th-century Austro-German music to early-20th-century modernism. His music was banned during the Nazi era but was rediscovered later. Famous for his Eighth Symphony, he had also been the director of the Hofoper (Vienna Court Opera).
The principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for over 3 decades, Herbert von Karajan was a piano prodigy in childhood. Though a Nazi Party member, he later claimed he had not been too keen on joining the party. The three-time Grammy winner was also an avid sports lover.
Anton Webern was an Austrian composer and conductor. He was a core member in the circle of the Second Viennese School and an exponent of atonality and twelve-tone technique. He focused on lyricism, nuance, and sensitivity in the performance of music and was considered radical for his era. He received posthumous attention in the latter half of the 20th century.
Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart was the youngest son of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Constanze. He followed in the footsteps of his father and went on to become a pianist, composer, conductor, and teacher. However, unlike his father, Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart was introverted and often underrated his talent. He also had a constant fear of being compared to his father.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt began his musical career as a classical cellist and grew up to be one of the finest conductors of Austria. He ruled the music scene with the ensemble Concentus Musicus, focusing on historical performance, and later also worked with modern ensembles such as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Born to Holocaust survivors, Hungarian-born pianist Andras Schiff began learning the piano at age 5. He is now best known for his interpretations of legends such as of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. His numerous awards include a Grammy. He was also knighted for his achievements.
Austrian musical conductor August Kubizek is best-remembered for his close friendship with Adolf Hitler during their late-teens. They reunited after thirty years following which the Nazi Party hired Kubizek to write about his youth with Hitler in two short propaganda booklets called Reminiscences. Kubizek also wrote about his childhood experience with Hitler in the book The Young Hitler I Knew.
Austrian composer Franz von Suppé was a major figure of the 19th-century light music in both Austria and Germany. He mostly performed at Viennese theaters such as Theater an der Wien. Some of his best-known works are Leichte Kavallerie, or Light Cavalry, and Dichter und Bauer, or Poet and Peasant.
Austrian conductor Erich Kleiber rose to prominence conducting several 20th-century works, particularly compositions made by Mozart, Richard Wagner, Beethoven, and Richard Strauss. Reputed for his interpretations of the classics, Kleiber held important positions in Germany, including as musical director of Berlin State Opera before leaving the country protesting against oppressive policies of the Nazi Party, and settling in Buenos Aires.
Kurt Adler began studying music at age 6 and delivered his first public piano performance at 14. Though his parents were killed in a Nazi concentration camp, Adler fled to the U.S. and settled in New York. The master conductor is best remembered for his association with the Metropolitan Opera.