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The page of Hofmannsthal, Hugo von, English biography

Image of Hofmannsthal, Hugo von
Hofmannsthal, Hugo von
(Hugo Laurenz August Hofmann)
(1874–1929)

Biography

Hugo von Hofmannsthal (February 1, 1874 - July 15, 1929), was an Austrian novelist, librettist, poet, dramatist, narrator, and essayist.
Hofmannsthal was born in Vienna, the son of a bank manager. He began to write poems and plays from an early age. He met the German poet Stefan George at the age of seventeen, and had several poems published in George's journal, Blätter für die Kunst. He studied law, and later philology in Vienna, but decided to devote himself to writing upon graduating in 1901. Along with Peter Altenberg and Arthur Schnitzler, he was a member of the avant garde group Young Vienna (Jung Wien).
Hofmannsthal met the composer Richard Strauss, and wrote libretti for several of his operas, including Elektra (1909), Der Rosenkavalier (1911), and Ariadne auf Naxos (1913, rev. 1916).
In 1912 he adapted the 15th century English morality play Everyman as Jedermann, and Jean Sibelius (amongst others) wrote incidental music for it. The play became a staple at the Salzburg Festival, which Hofmannsthal founded with Max Reinhardt in 1920. His later plays revealed a growing interest in religious, and particularly Roman Catholic themes.
He died shortly after the suicide of his son Franz in Rodaun, Vienna.


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