Zeisl's music manuscripts, published scores,
correspondence, documents, recordings, and other materials.
Zeisl was born in Vienna on May 18, 1905. A student of Richard Stöhr,
Joseph Marx and Hugo Kauder, Zeisl achieved early recognition, publishing his
first songs at the age of 16 and winning the Austrian State Prize in 1934 for
the Requiem concertante (1933-1934). He was compelled to leave Austria and went
first to Paris (1938) and then to the USA (1939). He moved from New York to
Hollywood to work for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1941), then settled in Los Angeles
and became professor of theory and composition at Los Angeles City College in
1949. His gifts for melody, orchestration and dramatic expression were first
developed in the songs of his Austrian years. Evident in his other Austrian
compositions are the variation techniques and contrapuntal textures that would
become lifelong preoccupations. In the USA, where he produced roughly half of
his output, he abandoned song in order to devote more attention to instrumental
pieces, sacred music and especially dramatic works, which powerfully express his
Jewish heritage. Throughout his career he derived his large forms principally
from those of the Baroque and Classical periods, but after his emigration
earlier Austro-German Romantic elements were replaced by a combination of
soaring, cantillation-like melodies, modal harmonies, metric shifts, flexible
rhythmic patterns and dark orchestral colours. Zeisl died in Los Angeles on Feb.
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the
creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright
owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.