Jakob Stolz, the main protagonist of my dissertation, would share his contemporary’s destiny, that is: being totally forgotten, if his youngest son Robert hadn’t become an internationally revered composer. Father Stolz mainly was a legendary name (especially distinguished by his son’s biographers) and said to be the link between Bruckner and Brahms. On the one hand, if these biographies about Robert Stolz hadn’t been full of highly impressing myths, I would have never written this dissertation. On the other hand, any real facts weren’t originally to be found in Graz, nor was there any way to verify these myths and stories.
Due to an almost fantastical coincidence, I discovered Jakob Stolz’s musical estate, consisting of his compositions and theoretic works, which had been unnoticed for more than half a century in the basement of an archive. This collection served as the main basis for my master’s thesis which I finished in 2003. Since it met the interest of an international audience, I decided to republish it as a dissertation. A lot of additional material has been discovered ever since; furthermore, after the death of Robert Stolz’s widow Einzi, I could more easily formulate the truth which, due to her age, could not have been published without severely hurting her reputation.
For the first time, the history and present of the Stolz family is completely traced within seven generations. Their often mentioned noble origin gets equally falsified, as gets the alleged kinship with renowned Verdi-Soprano Teresa Stolz. Another focus is put on Leopold Stolz, then composer and conductor in Germany and Robert’s oldest brother, whose yet unpublished autobiography I widely parse. Leopold’s daughter Gerda who lived in a dog pound in Jerusalem, gets an “honorary mention”, since she had always been severely neglected by Robert Stolz and his relatives.
Several contemporary (as well as posthumous) articles on Jakob Stolz have come to the light over the last few years, which helped to complete his life story at a rather high level. Of course, there are aspects, especially of his early years, which will never be lit sufficiently. However, I have been able to collect most of the necessary facts and figures to draw a relatively complete picture of Jakob Stolz, his life and his work.