Music and Austrofascism: "Fascistization" Processes in Viennese Musical Life, 1933-1938

Musical life under ‘Austrofascism’ – the regime in Austria between 1933 and 1938 – has rarely been addressed by scholars, and has typically been held up as a pale imitation of its counterparts in fascist Germany and Italy. 

This programme of research argues against this verdict. Adopting a recent theoretical framework, it looks for ‘fascistization’ processes circulating transnationally between fascist states and implemented in the specific circumstances of Austrian musical life. These include the creation of the mass leisure organization Neues Leben, and its engagement of Vienna’s principal orchestras in order to disseminate an Austrian music-cultural identity; or, against the model of Nazi Germany, the inflection of Austrofascism’s overall antisemitic cultural stance in order to incorporate Jewish composers and performers, not least Gustav Mahler.

Principal Investigator