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EXHIBITION | Arnold Schönberg. Through the Lens of Richard Fish

  • Washington National Cathedral 3101 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20016 United States (map)
 (c) Richard Fish/Arnold Schönberg Center

(c) Richard Fish/Arnold Schönberg Center


The exhibition "Arnold Schönberg. Through the lens of Richard Fish" at the Washington National Cathedral gives an unexpected insight into the life of Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg and will be on display from November 27 to December 15, 2017. 

In May 1936, the Schönberg family moved into a house with garden at 116 North Rockingham Avenue, Brentwood Park, Los Angeles. In summer 1948, Richard Fish, a young photographer, met Arnold Schönberg at his Brentwood Park house. Fish visited Schönberg many more times, leaving posterity with a particularly coherent documentation of the composer, teacher and father in his later years. Schönberg actively participated in designing the pictures; when Fish wanted to photograph him with some of his oil paintings, Schönberg was on the spot at once with a hammer and nails, arranging three paintings and sitting himself in fourth place as a living portrait. Other photos depict Schönberg dictating, playing tennis and teaching. Schönberg underlined his esteem for the photographer on a signed print: “To Mr. Richard Fish cordially thanking for making me so handsome: Arnold Schönberg September 1950.”

Arnold Schönberg – composer, painter, teacher, theoretician and innovator – was born in Vienna in 1874 and died in Los Angeles in 1951. He also resided in Berlin, Barcelona, Paris and Boston. In music history Schönberg’s name is associated with an epoch-making innovation: the “Method of composing with twelve tones which are related only with one another.” The estate of the composer has been preserved at the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna since 1998.

The exhibition is presented by the Arnold Schönberg Center and the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington.

Arnold Schoenberg's compositon The Ode to Napoleon will be preformed during the concert Music in Wartime. A Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration by the PostClassical Ensemble on December 7, 2017. The PostClassical Ensemble was founded in 2003 by Angel Gil-Ordonez and Joseph Horowitz as an experimental orchestral laboratory. Since fall 2017 the PostClassical Ensemble ist the Ensemble-in-Residence at the Washington National Cathedral. For more information on the concert, please visit the website of the PostClassical Ensemble.