The von Trapp Family
Salzburg’s best-known film family and their actors
The Trapp family’s history is inseparably linked with Salzburg. However, the family settled in Vermont, USA, for good after they had to flee from Austria. They and their descendants have been living there until the present day. Ten children in total were born into the von Trapp family: seven of them in Baron von Trapp’s first marriage, and another three in his marriage with Maria. Here we will present to you the famous family and their destiny in a nutshell, a story taken from real life.
Maria Augusta Kutschera (Baroness von Trapp), portrayed by Julie Andrews
Born in 1905 and raised in Vienna, the later musical head of the Trapp family came to Salzburg in 1925 to become a novice at Nonnberg Abbey. However, the abbess thought it would be better to send her to Baron von Trapp as a house teacher. Two years later, Maria became the Baron’s wife and founded the family choir which won a singing contest at the Salzburg Festival. After their emigration to the USA in 1933, the Trapp family choir, lead by pastor Franz Wasner, rose to success on their concert tours through the USA and to other continents. In 1950, they even performed at the Salzburg Festival. Maria von Trapp continued to live in the USA until her death in March 1987 at the age of 82.
Her role as Maria von Trapp not only won her an Academy Award for “Best Actress in a Leading Role”, but was also her career breakthrough as an actress.
Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp (Captain von Trapp), portrayed by Christopher Plummer
Born in 1880, Georg von Trapp began his vocational training with the navy at the young age of 14. In 1911, now a submarine officer, he married Agathe Whitehead. They were blessed with seven children before Agathe tragically died at only 31 in 1922. With his second wife, Maria Augusta Kutschera, the Trapp family choir came into being. As Baron von Trapp refused to join the German navy, the year of 1933 saw the family emigrating to the USA. Baron von Trapp died in 1947 at the age of 67.
The 10 Trapp children
Rupert, who became the character Friedrich in the film, was the Trapp’s first child born in 1911. In 1914, he was joined by his sister Agathe who is well-known as the character of Liesl to those who have seen The Sound of Music. Interesting to know, she also was a singer and an artist in real life. After Rupert and Agathe, many more children enlarged the family: Werner (*1915), Hedwig (*1917), Johanna (*1919) and Martina (*1921), as well as their half siblings Rosemarie (*1929), Eleonore (*1931) and Johannes Georg (*1939). The youngest of them, Johannes von Trapp, is the manager of the globally known Family Lodge in Stowe, which has been a hotel for many years.
Most members of the Trapp family, 3 of whose 10 children are still alive, live in the USA today. They have 25 grandchildren and 40 grand-grandchildren. Although the famous family choir has been officially dissolved since 1956, four of their grandchildren still keep the memory of their ancestors’ success alive as “Trapp Family Singers”.