Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


School of Music



First Advisor

Donald Portnoy


Hans Gál (1890-1987) is best known for editing the complete works of Brahms and for his scholarly writings on music. He was also a talented and prolific composer; however, much of his music remains unknown. Gál was appointed director of the Mainz Conservatory in 1929, but because of his Jewish heritage, he was dismissed immediately when Hitler seized power in 1933. Gál emigrated to Great Britain, and at the invitation of Sir Donald Tovey, settled in Edinburgh where he remained for the rest of his life. Gál published nearly 140 works during his lifetime and received numerous awards including the Art Prize of the City of Vienna (1926), the Austrian State Prize (1915, 1958), the Order of the British Empire (1964), and the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art, First Class, one of the highest and most prestigious Austrian state honors (1981). Firmly rooted in the Austro-German tradition, Gál's music is noted for its clarity of form, playful humor, flowing melody, extended tonality, and extensive use of counterpoint. This document provides a closer examination of Gál's style through a comparative analysis of his First and Second Symphonies.


© 2012, Richard Marcus