Max Burckhardt (1854-1912).

  • Profession: Judge, Director Burgtheater (1890-1898) and Alma Mahler (1879-1964)‘s mentor.
  • Residences: Vienna.
  • Relation to Mahler:
  • Correspondence with Mahler:
  • Born: 14-07-1854 Korneuburg, Austria.
  • Died: 16-03-1912 Vienna, Austria.
  • Buried: Unknown.

Burckhard, a lawyer, became director of the theatre on 12-05-1890. He remained director of the theatre for eight years. He brought a fresh perspective to the theatre and introduced Sunday matinees at a reduced cost in order to widen their audience. He later remarked that the less wealthy audiences were the most “critically acute”. While director, he remodeled the auditorium in the spring and summer of 1897, and introduced contemporary drama by Henrik Ibsen, Gerhart Hauptmann, Arthur Schnitzler, Hugo von Hofmannsthal to the Viennese audience as well as Austrian classics of Ludwig Anzengruber and Ferdinand Raimund.

He hired famous actors like Friedrich Mitterwurzer, Adele Sandrock, Lotte Medelsky, Otto Tressler, Hedwig Bleibtreu and Josef Kainz. Burckhard was dismissed from his role of director in January 1898 because he closed the theatre mid-season for renovations.

Max Burckhardt attended high school in Kremsmuenster. Consequently, he studied law in Vienna and from 1872 was a member of the fraternity “Silesia”. He became a judge in St. Polten, wrote the three -volume work” system of the Austrian private law” and in 1887 Ministerialvizesekretär in the Ministry of Culture and Education. From August 1889 he was half a year editor of the Austrian Journal of Management. Without special experience in the management of a theater followed Max Burckhardt in 1890 by Adolf sun valley as director of the Burgtheater in Vienna.

Free of old obligations to the ensemble he dusted off the game board and brought social dramas of Henrik Ibsen, Gerhart Hauptmann, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Arthur Schnitzler, whose “love affair” was premiered in 1895 with him. Even Ferdinand Raimund and popular pieces by Ludwig Anzengruber he made presentable by performances at the Court Theatre. By inexpensive Sunday afternoon performances Burckhardt also ran an opening of the Burgtheater for wider layers. Much skill he demonstrated in the extension of the ensemble to actors like Adele Sandrock, Lotte Medelsky, Otto Tressler, Hedwig Bleibtreu, Friedrich Mitterwurzer and Josef Kainz.

Burckhardt was with its innovative activities appeal to a new, advanced audience for the Burgtheater and his charismatic nature, he transformed many of his critics in friends such as the writer and theater critic Hermann Bahr, he omnibus heavily in the programming. The liberal press was on his side, but he was representatives of the traditional Theaterverstämdnises always a thorn in the eye and he ultimately failed but the conservative circles of the country and gave his 1898 a Demissionierung. Burckhardt was appointed councilor in 1898 at the Administrative Court, where he worked until 1900.

He has published a lot, also joined as a dramatist time-critical folk plays and comedy shows such as ” The mayoral election ” (1897), ” s’Katherl ” (1898 ), “Council of insult ” (1905 ) and “The Island of the Blessed” (1908 ) and worked subsequently as a successor to his friend Hermann Bahr, as this gave the publication of the culture of the time in 1899. Burckhardt retired at the age to St. Gilgen, where he had built a house in the village Franzosenschanze from 1903. Most recently, he may have been “half- insane”. Heirs were his sister Lotte, married. Hlawacek, and her son Frederick Hlawacek, a lawyer in Salzburg.

Alma Mahler -Werfel

In Joshua Sobol’s Polydrama ” Alma – Show Biz to end” Max Burckhardt is portrayed as one of the childhood friends of Alma Mahler-Werfel. He was her mentor and encouraged the awakening of interest in classical and recent literature, but an anti-Semite, he also trained their hostility toward Jews. Especially the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche joined the two, Nietzsche’s “Who shall fall, should one also push!” was to Alma’s life motto.

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