Obituary: Wiener Staatsoper Press Officier Lothar Knessl Dies at 95

By Francisco Salazar

Former Wiener Staatsoper press officier Lothar Knessl has died at the 95.

Born April 15, 1927, in Brunn, Knessl attended the Realgymnasium in his hometown and studied piano at the conservatory. He went on to join the military and in 1947, after serving, he moved to Vienna to study music and theater. He also studied composition with Karl Schiske and Ernst Krenek at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna from 1950 to 1956.

In 1968, he started the Ö1 series Studio Neuer Musik and taught at the University of Vienna. Then in 1971, he became the manager of the press office of the Austrian Federal Theater and from 1986 until his retirement in 1991 he was press officer at the Wiener Staatsoper.

He was also the program advisor, editor, and curator of the Wien modern festival and was a founding member of the Music Information Center Austria. From 1992 to 2000, Knessl served as President of the Austrian Section of the International Society for New Music and was a Music Curator at the Federal Ministry for Education and the Arts.

He wrote many books including the biography of his main teacher, Ernst Krenek.