Unique encounter between Schoenberg and Kandinsky  7 November 2013

Exhibition: Schoenberg and Kandinsky

Arnold Schoenberg was one of the most influential composers of the twentieth century. That he was also a pioneer of Expressionist painting is less well known. He exhibited with Wassily Kandinsky's group Der Blaue Reiter and his ground breaking music inspired the great Russian artist to move towards a totally abstract art. From 17 November 2012 until 16 March 2014 the Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam is devoting an exhibition to these two artistic revolutionaries who changed forever the course of art and music.

Vienna witnessed an artistic and musical revolution at the beginning of the twentieth century. The compositions of Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) caused one riot after another. He influenced Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), who laid the foundations for abstract art. After attending a concert of Schoenberg's music in Munich in 1911, Kandinsky was inspired that same evening to make his painting Impression III. He wrote to Schoenberg: 'the independent life of the individual voices in your compositions, is exactly what I am trying to find in my paintings.' This concert also led Kandinsky to invite Schoenberg to contribute to the first exhibition of the artists' group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider).

Arnold Schoenberg taught himself violin at the age of nine and went on to become one of the most important composers of the twentieth century. He was also a self-taught draughtsman and designer and, influenced by his friendships with artists Richard Gerstl and Wassily Kandinsky, created an extensive body of visual art that deserves to be better known.

The exhibition Schoenberg & Kandinsky - Artistic Revolutionaries gives an insight into the life and work of Schoenberg and his contemporaries. The Jewish Historical Museum will exhibit a large number of works by Schoenberg that have never been seen in the Netherlands, supplemented by works by Kandinsky and Gerstl and other well-known figures such as Gabriele Münter and Egon Schiele. The exhibition is an exciting combination of visual art and music: video screens will show clips from Schoenberg's operas and an introductory film about the extraordinary life of Schoenberg and his many friends and enemies. There is also a special audio tour, compiled by writer and composer Elmer Schönberger.

The exhibition coincides with the project 6x7 by the Asko|Schönberg ensemble: students from the music academies in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague will write pieces inspired by Schoenbergs' works. Each Sunday one student's composition will be performed in the exhibition. On 12 March 2014 the ASKO|Schönberg ensemble will preform six of the compositions in the Portuguese Synagogue. 

For images or more information, please contact:
Jewish Historical Museum, Marketing & Communication Department, Barbara Reuten
+31 (0)20 531 0370 / communicatie@jhm.nl / www.jhm.nl