As an important cultural centre the Wörthersee region had ist peak time during the mid 19th century to the 1930s.
Every summer artists, musicians, art-loving patrons and generally people interested in art visited the Wörthersee area. Wealthy Viennese families had their magnificent summer residences built around the lake. The beauty of the landscape also attracted a variety of composers, and consequently, many internationally important pieces of music were inspired by this lovely scenery.
• Gustav Mahler composed over half of his symphonies in a minute house near Maiernigg.
• Alban Berg had his most important creative phase in his “Waldhaus” in Auen near Velden.
• Johannes Brahms spent the summer months of 1877 to 1879 in Pörtschach.
During this period Johannes Brahms wrote some of his most important works, i.e.:
– the symphony in D-major, “The Pörtschacher”
– the violin concert in D-major, op.77
– the motet “Warum ist das Licht gegeben den Mühseligen?”
– five out of eight piano pieces op. 76
– the two rhapsodies
– the new series of the “Hungarian dances”
– the sonata in G-major
– the capriccio in h-minor
– songs (“Lieder”)
The “Weißes Rössl” was his favourite country inn in Pörtschach. He enjoyed it tremendously when his friends entertained him with Carinthian songs. His first summer was spent at “Schloss Leonstain” and the following two summers he rented the first floor of the “Krainerhäusel” by the lake. Both buildings are still in existence.
The Johannes-Brahms-Society Pörtschach aims at reviving the cultural identity of the Wörtersee region by going back to its historical roots. The ideal way to achieve this and to re-instate Pörtschach as an international cultural centre is the yearly event of the International Johannes Brahms Competition.