His full name is Hugo Laurenz Anton Hofmann Edler von Hofmannsthal. He also used the pseudonyms Loris Melikow and Theophil Morren. Born on February 1, 1874 in Vienna, he was the only child of a wealthy family of lawyers and officials.
He attended the Academic High School in Vienna and began to study law. Aditionally, he wrote numerous lyrical works, for example the prologue to Arthur Schnitzler's "Anatol". He graduated as Doctor of Philosophy in 1898 and as Doctor of Philology in 1899.
In the same year he married Gertrud Schlesinger, with whom he moved to Vienna-Rodaun and had three children with here.
He made numerous trips through Europe and worked closely with the composer Richard Strauss from 1906 onwards. This results in works such as writing the libretti for the operas "Elektra", the "Rosenkavalier" or "Ariadne von Naxos".
From 1917 he started to establish together with Richard Strauss and Max Reinhardt the Salzburg Festival, which were founded in 1920. The "Everyman" was launched and since then has been part of the steady program of the Salzburg Festival. Hofmannsthal also came up with the idea to perform "Jedermann" in front of the cathedral in Salzburg.
The premiere of the opera "Arabella" by Richard Strauss, for which he wrote the libretto, Hofmannsthal no longer experienced.
Hofmannsthal died in July 1929 of the consequences of a stroke, only two days after the suicide of his son. His remains rest together with his family at the Kalksburger Cemetery.
Hugo von Hofmannsthal is considered one of the most important poets and playwrights of the 20th century. Commemorative plaques are located at the birthplace in Salesianergasse, as well as at the last residence, the „Hofmannsthal-Schlössl“ in Rodaun.