Skip to main content

Elfriede Jelinek


Elfriede Jelinek (Mürzzuschlag, Austria, 1946) is sometimes called the enfant terrible of Austrian literature: her work is controversial and often provocative. With her phenomenal use of language, she fiercely criticises modern consumer society, revealing its underlying power structures. She was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature for ‘her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power.’ Or, as Jelinek herself says: ‘I tap on language to hear the hidden ideologies, like a doctor taps on a patient’s chest.’


Starting 1960, organ, recorder and composition at the Wiener Konservatorium

Starting 1964, theatre and art history at Universität Wien (uncompleted)


Major work

1975 Die Liebhaberinnen

1980 Die Ausgesperrten

1983 Die Klavierspielerin (made into a film in 2001: La Pianiste by Michael Haneke with Isabelle Huppert in the leading role)

1985 Burgtheater

1989 Lust

2005 Babel

2006 Ulrike Maria Stuart

2011 Winterreise

2013 Schatten (Euridyke sagt)

2017 Am Königsweg

2020 Schwarzwasser


Previously featured at the Holland Festival

2008 Babel (Burgtheater)

2010 Rechnitz (Münchner Kammerspiele)


Die Schutzbefohlenen (Thalia Theater, directed by Nicolas Stemann)


Prizes and awards, including

1972/1973 Östereichischer Würdigungspreis für Literatur

1989 Preis der Stadt Wien für Literatur

1994 Walter Hasenclever-Preis from the city of Bochum

1996 Bremer Literaturpreis for Die Kinder der Toten

2004 Nobel prize for Literature

Past events

  1. 2022

    music theatre |Muziekgebouw - Grote zaal
  2. 2007

    theatre |Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam