Music and Austrofascism: radio, pan-Germanism, and the reinvention of the Wiener Symphoniker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Downloads (Pure)


‘Austrofascist’ has again become an accepted term to describe the Austrian regime from 1933 to 1938. This article contributes to this re-emergence using the example of the Wiener Symphoniker, and by seeking long-term ‘fascistization’ processes surrounding the orchestra rather than blunt comparisons against developments in neighbouring regimes. The account hinges on the Austrian radio service (RAVAG), through which, during the economic crises of the 1920s, the state exerted alignment pressure on many cultural institutions. As Chancellor Dollfuss declared the ‘depoliticization’ of Austria (the banning of political parties) in 1933, RAVAG used its leverage to break the orchestra’s union alliances and dictate personnel selection according to politics. On this foundation, new radio series like Stunde österreichischer Komponisten der Gegenwart (‘Austrian Composers of the Present’) extolled ‘pan-Germanism’: a nationalist ideology that proclaimed the European supremacy of German Austrians and attempted to forge an Austrofascist community – even as it simultaneously created exploitable overlap with National Socialism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-448
JournalJournal of the Royal Musical Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Music and Austrofascism: radio, pan-Germanism, and the reinvention of the Wiener Symphoniker'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this