A player and story (s) teller


15/12/20 When and with what hit rate Mozart devoted himself to shooting at the Bölzel, how the composer’s ability to punch (conical discs) was – Günther Bauer always had answers ready. – On the death of the former Mozarteum Rector.

By Reinhard Kriechbaum

In a place where there is really no lack of Mozart expertise, Professor Günther Bauer has also made a name for himself as a kind of Mozart private scholar. In addition, he did not become rector of the Mozarteum University, his main subject was acting. He came across Mozart as “homo ludens”: Günther Bauer had also founded the Institute for Game Research and Game Education at the Mozarteum University and headed it until 2008 (until he was 80). And then he discovered Mozart, the passionate player, as a kindred spirit, as it were. His book Mozart. Luck, games and passion is a foundational work on the subject and has been translated into many languages, including Japanese.

Did Mozart have a ruler? What was the name of Mozart’s riding horse and what did it cost? Which corkscrew did he use and where are his lottery tickets? Which cookbook did he use to cook? What was his favorite soap? And what did his wife’s soap smell like? – Bauer has that in his book Everything you always wanted to know about Mozart betrayed (one of half a dozen Mozart books from his pen).

As a storyteller he was almost unbeatable, and this ability was based on his wide-ranging cultural and historical interests. Günther G. Bauer, born in Bregenz in 1928, came to Salzburg with his family in 1932 and studied acting and directing there (diploma in 1951). At that time he was earning money at the summer Anyone, in the very best table company with Johanna von Koczian, Curth Anatol Tichy, Herbert Fux, Martha Jenisch, Brigitte Antonius. They all started there, at everyone’s banquet table …

Günther Bauer later studied theater studies, German literature and art history in Vienna and Salzburg (doctorate 1978). He knew how to make good use of the broad cultural and historical horizon, regardless of whether it was about Mozart or the figures in the Zwerglgarten at Mirabell Palace. Even when it comes to baroque gnomes, nobody could fool him. Bauer dedicated one of his many books to the “stone dwarf theater of Fischer von Erlach”, and he has donated his relevant private collection on Baroque dwarfs to the Salzburg Museum.

The now deceased at the age of 92 as “homo ludens” has dedicated himself to game topics out of a special number of passion. This is the title of a series of books he founded by the Institute for Game Research and Game Education (now it’s called “Archive Game Research and Playing Arts”). It is no coincidence that a book about Bauer published by his successor as game researcher at the Mozarteum, Rainer Buland, was included A “perpetual player”: actor, rector, game and Mozart researcher is overwritten.

Acting was the original profession: engagements took him to the Salzburg State Theater, Vienna, Berlin, Frankfurt, Göttingen and Graz. He was a member of the Vienna Burgtheater, and since 1971 he has lived in Salzburg again. Here he was artistic director of the Salzburg children’s and youth theater that he founded for 19 years. From 1979 he was also Secretary General and from 1995 to 2001 also President of the PEN Club Salzburg.

Images: City of Salzburg / J. Knoll (1); private (1)

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