Liechtenstein Celebrates Rheinberger's 175th Birthday

Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901) was a Liechtenstein musician, composer, and teacher who has now become a symbol of the Romantic era. In celebration of his 175th birthday this year, the Liechtenstein National Museum has opened an exhibit honoring his legacy.

Josef Gabriel Rheinberger.

Rheinberger was musically gifted at an early age. At seven years old, he played the organ and soon began writing his own compositions. Throughout his adult life, he enjoyed a successful career creating nearly 200 published works. When Rheinberger worked as a music teacher in Munich, he instructed over 600 students, including 60 from the United States. Some of his American students later went on to become well-known composers, such as Horatio Parker and George Whitefield Chadwick. In 1901 in Munich, Rheinberger passed away.

The exhibit, named “The last Romantics – the Liechtenstein composer Josef Gabriel Rheinberger and his musical network,” features a journal written by Rheinberger’s wife (Franziska von Hoffnaaß) between 1885 and 1892. Her journal documents Rheinberger’s correspondence with many famous musicians, composers, writers, and artists. Eighteen steles with pictures and informative texts are also showcased in the Rheinberger exhibit. These items seek to shed light on Rheinberger’s life, his network of colleagues and friends, and 19th century culture. The exhibit will be open between March 18 and September 21, 2014.

In addition, Philately Liechtenstein, a branch of the Liechtenstein Post, is commemorating the 175th birthday of Josef Gabriel Rheinberger by issuing a stamp with his portrait. This stamp is also coming with a surprise – it can be scanned by a smart phone or tablet app. Once the stamp is scanned through the app, the user will be able to watch a video on Rheinberger and learn more about his life.

Philately Liechtenstein is taking advantage of Augmented Reality (AR)-Technology to make stamps become a digital experience. It hopes to regularly incorporate this technology into its stamp production. Future stamps made with this technology will be marked with “AR” on the bottom of the stamp. This will let users know it can be scanned for additional information.

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