Karl Schiske
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Schiske Karl


# Title Year of Originsort icon Duration Instrumentation Category Sheet Music Shop
1 Dialog - für Violoncello und Klavier 1967 6m
2 Fünfte Symphonie "auf B" 1965 15m
3 Divertimento für zehn Instrumente oder Kammerorchester - Transformationen im goldenen Schnitt für 2 plus 3 plus 5 Instrumente 1963 15m
4 Synthese für vier mal vier Instrumente 1958
5 Missa - Kleine Orgelmesse 1958
6 Choral-Partita - für Orgel 1957 6m
7 Organ Works - Choralpartita 1957
8 Candáda 1956 12m
9 Vierte Symphonie 1955 20m
10 Triosonate - für Orgel oder 3 Melodieinstrumente 1954 7m
11 Missa Cunctipotens Genitor Deus - für gemischten Chor mit Orgel ad lib. 1954 18m
12 Organ Works - Trio-Sonata 1954
13 Sonatine für Klavier 1953 6m
14 Der Mai - Chorsatz für dreistimmigen Oberchor a cappella 1952 1m
15 Kleine Fuge für Klavier 1952
16 Organ Works - Toccata 1952
17 Drei Stücke für Gloria - für Violine solo 1951 7m
18 Violinkonzert 1951 20m
19 Sonatine für Violine, Violoncello und Klavier (Klaviertrio) 1951 12m
20 Drei Stücke nach Volksweisen - für Klavier 1951 5m
21 Etüdensuite - für Klavier 1951 5m
22 Vokalisen für mittlere Stimme und Klavier 1951
23 Toccata - für Orgel 1951 6m
24 Dritte Symphonie - (über den Pacher-Altar zu St. Wolfgang) 1950 30m
25 Kammerkonzert 1949 23m
26 Sonate für Klavier zu vier Händen 1949 17m
27 Psalm 99 - (Jubilate Deo) für sechsstimmigen gemischten Chor a cappella 1949 6m
28 Zweite Symphonie 1947 30m
29 Musik für Klarinette, Trompete und Bratsche 1947 40m
30 Zwei Stücke für Altblockflöte und Klavier 1947
31 Vom Tode - Oratorium für Sopran, Alt, Tenor, Baß, gemischten Chor, Orchester und Orgel 1946 1h 30m - 1h 45m
32 Sieben Lieder aus dem Oratorium Vom Tode - für hohe und tiefe Singstimme und Klavier 1946 18m
33 Drei Sätze für Chor a cappella aus dem Oratorium Vom Tode 1946 8m
34 Drei Lieder für hohe Singstimme und Klavier 1945 5m
35 Rhapsodie - für Klavier 1945 8m
36 Zweites Streichquartett 1945 24m
37 Zweites Konzert für Streichorchester 1945 25m
38 Vier Chöre für dreistimmigen Chor a cappella 1945 10m
39 Tanzsuite 1945 15m
40 Bläserquintett - für Flöte, Oboe, Klarinette, Horn und Fagott 1945 25m
41 Sonate für Violine und Klavier 1943 17m
42 Tanzrondo 1942 8m
43 Zwei Lieder - für mittlere (hohe) Singstimme und Klavier 1941 7m
44 Drei kleine Suiten - für zwei Blockflöten oder andere Melodieinstrumente 1941 10m
45 Erste Symphonie - für großes Orchester 1941 30m
46 Erstes Konzert für Streichorchester 1940 26m
47 Trompetermusik 1939 7m
48 Variationen über ein eigenes Thema - für Orgel 1938 6m
49 Reitjagd - Kantate für Baritonsolo, gemischten Chor und Orchester 1938 15m
50 Der Schrei - für sechsstimmigen gemischten Chor a cappella 1938 8m
51 Drei Lieder für hohe Singstimme und Klavier 1938 9m
52 Konzert für Klavier und Orchester 1938 19m
53 Organ Works - Variationen über ein eigenes Thema 1938
54 Vorspiel für großes Orchester 1937 8m
55 Sextett für Klarinette, Streichquartett und Klavier 1937 17m
56 Erstes Streichquartett 1936 16m
57 Sonate für Klavier 1936 18m
58 Thema, acht Variationen und Doppelfuge - für Klavier 1935 12m
59 Kleine Suite - für Klavier 1935 6m

General Information

Year of Birth:  1916
Date of Birth:  12. February 1916
Place of Birth:  Györ, Hungary
Country of Birth: 
Year of Death:  1969
Date of Death:  16. June 1969
Place of Death:  Vienna
Nationality:  ,

Karl Schiske was born in Raab/Györ in 1916, then still part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire, and already proved his talent at the age of three. The few existing, private documents state, "At the age of three, I already played the "Schnitzel Polka", taught by dad, on our family's Schmetterer piano to the astonishment of the audience" (quoted from "Karl Schiske", Karl Heinz Roschitz, Verlag Elisabeth Lafite, Vienna, 1970; p 7).
In 1922, at the age of six, he and his parents - his father was an inventor and mechanical engineer - moved to Orth an der Donau. Schiske inherited his father's affinity for technology and so he also studied physics, in addition to his piano and composition studies at the University of Music in Vienna. From 1939 onwards - still during his studies - the City Orchestra of the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra and the Steinbauer Quartet already started to perform his early compositions at the Vienna Musikverein and the Konzerthaus. In 1943, just after he finished his thesis about the use of dissonances in Bruckner's symphonies, he was drafted by the German Wehrmacht. Even at that time he never stopped composing music. He dedicated his probably most important piece, the oratorio "Vom Tode" to his brother Hubert, who was killed in combat near Riga in 1944.
Schiske's most creative period began after 1945. He lived as a freelance composer in Styria, only interrupted by short stays in Vienna and Orth and gave private music lessons until he was assigned the post of teacher for composition at the University of Music in Vienna in 1952. In August 1954, he married Berta Baumhackl, with whom he had four children. In 1962 he was named senior university professor.
His works were awarded several prizes, among them the Grand State Prize of the Republic of Austria. As a teacher he provided such known composers as Erich Urbanner, Ivan Eröd, Gösta Neuwirth, Kurt Schwertsik, Otto Zykan, Charles Boone, Luca Lombardi and many more, with their compositional ammunition and equipment. On 16 June 1969, Karl Schiske died at the age of 53, following a brain haemorrhage.


PeriodEducationInstrumentTeacherEducation OrganisationLocation
1932 - 1938

private lessons: composition, harmonics and counter point

1932 - 1938

Neues Wiener Konservatorium (Roderich Bass)

1932 - 1938

Neues Wiener Konservatorium (Julius Varga)


graduation exam for composition (as external student)




graduation (doctor's degree)

musicology, art history, philosophy, physics, acoustics


1952 - 1969

professor for composition, set-up of an additional lecture "Practical course for contemporary music"

1955 - 1969

a lot of contact to students and providing help for students needing to acquire residency grants

1956 - 1966

preparing part of the music programme


co-founder of a studio for electronic music

1966 - 1967

University of California Riverside: guest professor

jury member at international composition contests

collaboration as delegate and board member

board member

Performances (Selection)


Vienna Music Summer


Festival de Paris, Musee d'Art Moderne: Ensemble 20th century/Peter Burwik


performance of the entire organ oeuvre on the occasion of his 80th birthday, among others


in the course of the ISCM Music Festival

(former "Radio-Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft" -RAVAG) performances and recordings

regular performances at music festivals

numerous performances abroad

Commissions (Selection)

PeriodCommissionCompositionCommissioner (Organisation)Commissioner (Person)

Wiener Kulturfonds der Zentralsparkasse of the City of Vienna


PeriodAwardCompositionAwarding Organisation

music award


Austrian state award


Granting of the title "Professor"


promotional award


Cross of Honour for Science and the Arts


Grand State Prize of the Republic of Austria


Decoration of Merit in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria


culture award (posthumously)

Description of Style

Schiske went through an intriguing development as a composer, his individuality overriding everything epigonical. From his late expressionist phase of the thirties, among it the Sextet op.5 - a clear sign of the vitality of a powerful compositional talent, in a time of stylistic helplessness, his works of the post-war era are oriented on Hindemith and Stravinsky, until Schiske finally turned towards dodecaphony and even serial technique. The chamber concert op. 28 from 1948/49, represents his stylistic and formal tendencies clearly, which, in his own words, were, "Linear polyphony filling all dimensions with the spirit of the time and putting them in relation to one another. If necessary, even serial sets and other sequences are being applied. Open without prejudice to all new possibilities not committing oneself completely to a technique without being critical. Demanding absolute clarity and clear order ... The part of coincidence should be eliminated as much as possible." Schiske is trying for conceptual unity.


Ernst Hilmar, ÖMZ, Jg. 41, Februar 1986

Press Reviews


It was fascinating to follow the artistic development of the composers through the practical use of an instrument - in the case of Schiske, starting from the early "Variationen über ein eigenes Thema" op.10 up to the strictly constructed "Choralpartita" op. 46 from his last creative period.

ÖMZ 7/2006 (Christian Heindl)