Johannes Fehring's film music

Johannes Fehring (eg. Johannes Fernbach, 1926-2004), who was awarded the "Großes Silbernes Ehrenzeichen des Landes Wien" in 1976, has an extensive body of compositional work. He became known to a wider public primarily through his commitment to jazz and his arrangements for artists such as Peter Alexander, Marianne Mendt, Arik Brauer and Kurt Sowinetz. His work as a bandleader for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF Big Band) was equally influential. Less well known, however, is his film music, which was composed between 1952 and 1976. This period in particular is worth taking note of, as Fehring composed against the backdrop of a period of social and economic upheaval that also affected the cinema industry.

Fehring reacted to these developments in a nuanced way in his film music while at the same time fulfilling the respective expectations of various film directors (including Werner Jacobs, Géza von Cziffra and Franz Antel). The fact that Fehring worked primarily for commercial cinema makes his work all the more interesting, as the interplay of craftsmanship, versality and inventive deviations from norms can be observed. Showing the mixture of profit-orientated genre cinema and avant-garde designs and classifying it as a contemporary phenomenon represents a contribution to the cultural history of the Austrian economic miracle years.

Project Duration

August 2023 – July 2024


Project Lead

Stefan Schmidl


Magdalena Weber


Musicology Department Project Website