Zemlinsky [Zemlinszky], Alexander (von)
- Antony Beaumont
(b Vienna, Oct 14, 1871; d Larchmont, NY, March 15, 1942). Austrian composer and conductor. Although closely linked to the Second Viennese School (Schoenberg was his pupil), Zemlinsky was no outright revolutionary. While undisputedly a conductor of the first rank and an interpreter of integrity, he lacked ‘star quality’ and was overshadowed by more domineering personalities. His music is distinguished by an almost overpowering emotional intensity. It took several decades before it became known and began to be appreciated.
His father, born in Vienna of Slovakian Catholic descent, converted to Judaism in 1870; his mother, born in Sarajevo, was the daughter of a mixed Sephardi-Muslim marriage. At the age of four he showed aptitude at the piano, and after completing his regular schooling in 1886 he enrolled at the Vienna Conservatory, studying the piano with Door, harmony and counterpoint with Krenn and Robert Fuchs (1888–90), and composition (...