Foto: Gabriela Brandenstein


Eliette Mouret was born in Mollans-sur-Ouvz. She enjoyed a carefree childhood growing up in Provence before being discovered by Christian Dior when she was just 19 years old. This laid the foundation for an international modelling career. Engagements soon followed in fashion capitals around the world and photographic shoots with the most famous photographers in Paris, Rome and London.


But the world of fashion and a life of fame and glamour was not enough in the long term. Always on the lookout for new challenges, Eliette used her time in London to learn languages and enrolled in an art academy. She had always been fascinated by the beauty of fine art and, in painting, she discovered wonderful opportunities for unlimited expression in a multitude of ways.


Herbert von Karajan and Eliette Mouret met in Saint-Tropez. A short time later their paths crossed again in London and more and more often after that. They got married on 6 October 1958. In 1960, their first daughter, Isabel, was born, followed in 1964 by the birth of another daughter, Arabel.


Throughout their marriage, Eliette von Karajan undertook what might be called “social obligations” alongside her famous husband - often no easy task beside a world-renowned conductor. But Eliette von Karajan fulfilled these obligations admirably and quickly established her own position in all social circles, from art and culture to industry, science and politics. At the same, time she devoted herself enthusiastically to her great passion - painting.

Foto: Gabriela Brandenstein

Since the death of Herbert von Karajan in July 1989, Eliette von Karajan has made it her life’s work to maintain and continue her husband’s musical legacy. With the founding of the Herbert von Karajan Centre in Vienna, now situated in Salzburg and known as the Eliette and Herbert von Karajan Institute, she created a cultural memorial dedicated to Herbert von Karajan that has established itself during the years of its existence as an essential part of the local cultural scene. Her numerous projects, focusing particularly on the development of young people, and her engagement as patron of the Salzburg Easter Festival mean that Eliette von Karajan is ensuring that her husband’s work is still heard long after his death and that it also remains alive for generations to come.