Martin Sieghart


A Book

Martin Sieghart bridged the Covid-induced period of inactivity by writing a book:

"Transitions." A musician's Experience in 50 Chapters

Transitions from biographical tales to those inhabiting a fitional dream realm. 

Inspired by a visit to a Grinzing "Heurigen", where an exceptionally talented young man sang and played music, he invents a fledgeling pianist from Transylvania who is forced by circumstance to relinquish his promising career and eventually comes to Vienna, where he succeeds in making a solid living by becoming a Heurigen musician performing in the various languages of his German/Hungarian/Romanian heritage before ultimately seeing a concert grand piano that was brought to his venue for a reception ...  

A TV sleuth, long weary of his profession, has to endure Mozart's Requiem during a shoot of his series in the small country church of "Leidenstein". His initial total aversion towards this idea gradually becomes a deep and existential experience that ultimately leads to his redemption. 

Memories of his life in 1960s Vienna, of playing the organ in Upper Austria, of his great mentor Josef Mertin, of his years as a member of the Vienna Symphony, his time as chief conductor in Stuttgart, Linz, and Arnhem, of a wonderful encounter with Henri Dutilleux, and of some less than wonderful ones with other famous names. Of his opera festival at Reinsberg, of Strauss concert tours to Japan and of benefit performances. 

Of an evening drinking beer with Anton Bruckner and his Adagio from his 6th Symphony; of the Bohemian Forest, and much more. 

The book was published by Hollitzer in autumn, 2021. 


"Transitions" opens up a treasure trove of musical knowledge and personal experience behind the scenes of rehearsal, concert and orchestral life. All culminates in the confession: "It is better to remain a seeker!" Karin Schütze, OÖN

Martin Sieghart describes the continuous state of extasy often quite soberly and matter-of-factly, but also lost in reverie in the face of megalomania and perfidy, which are as much part of the business as magical moments of enchantment. In this way this autobiography becomes a spellbinding, stylistically many-faced mix of potboiler and fairy tale, dream vision, and anecdote. Perhaps its most fanciful moments are the most realistic ones. Wilhelm Sinkovicz (cover)

The to my mind particularly successful story about a genius pianist from Romania who performs in Vienna as a Heurigen musician reminds me of Bohumil Hrabal and Imre Kertesz. Bavarian Radio (Bayerischer Rundfunk) during an interview

The major difference between Martin Sieghart and other conductors' autobiographies is the narrative imagination he indulges in by telling fictional stories. The biographical miniatures of invented people are fun to read and, in their inner truthfulness, they tell more of music and musicians than can be expressed in barren language. Thus, a distant ancestor once mentioned by his father inspires the story of the Romanian pianist Johann, who with his accordion becomes the star of Viennese Heurigen musicians. A young clarinetist makes an appearance and an ageing tenor makes an exit. Ditta Rudle, Tanzschritte

Ein Buch