Thomas Koschat

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Thomas Koschat
Thomas Koschat.png
Born 8 August 1845
Klagenfurt, Austria
Died 19 May 1914(1914-05-19) (aged 68)
Vienna, Austria
Nationality Austrian
Occupation singer, composer

Thomas Koschat (8 August 1845 – 19 May 1914) was an Austrian composer and bass singer. He popularized Carinthian folk music across Europe and the Americas.


Koschat was born on 8 August 1845 in the Viktring district of Klagenfurt.[1] From 1865 to 1867 he attended the Technical University of Vienna, studying chemistry, but he did not obtain a degree.[2] Instead his imagination was captivated by music, and he formed his first vocal quartet in 1866.[3] He joined the Vienna State Opera in 1867, singing bass.[4] In 1874 he joined the choir at St. Stephen's Cathedral.[2] From 1877 until 1906 he performed with the Koschart Quintet. That year he also joined the choir at the Hofmusikkapelle and served as soloist there.[2] As a composer he was known for his Kärntnerlieder, folk songs of Carinthia arranged by himself, or else his own compositions set in that style.[1] With his men's quartet and quintet he toured Europe and the Americas, where the performances of his Carinthian music were enthusiastically received.[2][3] For most of his life he resided in Vienna.[1] Nonetheless he was made an honorary citizen of Klagenfurt in 1907 owing to the local nature of his work.[1] Koschat died in Vienna, at his home on Strobachgasse in the 5th district, on 19 May 1914.[1] He was buried at Annabichl [de] near Klagenfurt.[1]


Koschat composed numerous pieces for choir, in addition to quartets and songs. Many of these are in waltz time and focus on Carinthian themes and locales. Additionally he published a book of poems in the Carinthian dialect.[4]

The Koschat Museum in Klagenfurt

A museum dedicated to Koschat was opened in 1934, containing letters, manuscripts, portraits, awards, recordings, and other memorabilia related to his life and output.[1] Heavily damaged during the Second World War, the museum was rebuilt and reopened in 1951 from funds raised through private donations and lotteries.[1] The museum is open May through September for a couple of hours each day.[5]

In 1970 the Austrian Post issued a commemorative postage stamp honoring the 125th anniversary of Koschat's birth.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Sadie, Julie Anne; Sadie, Stanley (2005). Calling on the Composer: A Guide to European Composer Houses and Museums. Yale University Press. pp. 225–226. ISBN 9780300107500.
  2. ^ a b c d Forschungen, Institut für kunst- und musikhistorische (1 January 2002). "Koschat, Thomas" (in German). Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815-1950 Online-Edition" (PDF) (in German). Austrian Academy of Sciences. 2003–2014. ISBN 978-3-7001-3213-4.
  4. ^ a b Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon. 6. Auflage. Band 11, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig/Wien 1907, S. 523. (in German)
  5. ^ Hudson, Kenneth; Nicholls, Ann (1975). Directory of Museums. Springer. p. 24. ISBN 9781349014880.
  6. ^ Ambros Wilhelmer [de]: Sonderpostmarke Thomas Koschat, 125. Geburtstag. Vienna: Österreichische Staatsdruckerei 1970

External links

  • Media related to Thomas Koschat at Wikimedia Commons
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