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25 March 2024

Synchron Stage and the mdw - University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna collaborated to perform women's compositions based on sheet music found primarily in the Austrian National Library

Two years ago, the director of Synchron Stage Vienna, Herbert Tucmandl, had the idea of bringing to the stage the often overlooked contributions of female composers to Austrian music history. This idea led to the project 'Hidden Harmonies' with the aim of researching the works of female composers who once lived in Austria, to be performed in a first step in cooperation with the Piano Chamber Music Program of the mdw, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

Last week, the website with sounds and videos of the first music from the project was presented to the press. One of the sources for further research on available sheet music by Austrian composers or composers who once lived in Austria was the encyclopedic book '210 Österreichische Komponistinnen vom 16. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart: Biographie, Werk und Bibliographie. Ein Lexikon' by Gerlinde Haas and Eva Marx. Most of the material was found in the Austrian National Library. The second criterion was the selection of music for piano chamber music, which corresponded to the program of the University of Music. This further reduced the number of composers. At the end of the selection process, according to the criteria mentioned above, nine composers were selected, whose works are presented on the project's website through contemporary video performances recorded with the team of Synchron Stage Vienna.

This is the first time that the Hidden Harmonies project has been made public - and it can be expected that there's more to come. It's announced that research and collaboration on the project is ongoing, as there are still countless undiscovered treasures waiting to be explored.

Images, from left: Works by nine composers such as Josepha von Auernhammer (1758-1820) or Petronella Göring (1906-1968) were performed by the international artists of the mdw - University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and recorded in the great hall of the Synchron Stage Vienna. Photos courtesy of Synchron Stage Vienna. Petronella Göring is also one of the composers featured in the online exhibition on overlooked women composers 'Die übersehenen Komponistinnen' at

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