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Bruckner, Anton (1824-1896)
Painting by Ferry Bératon (1859–1900)

Anton Bruckner

born: 4 September 1824
died: 11 October 1896
country: Austria

Anton Bruckner was born in Ansfelden, near Linz, on 4 September 1824, the eldest of five surviving children. He was taught music by his schoolmaster father and later by his godfather. After his father’s death, the boy became a chorister at St Florian, an Augustinian monastery to the south-east of Linz. He later moved to the Upper Austrian capital to study as a teacher and eventually returned to teach at St Florian.

Self-doubt and lack of confidence troubled the talented young musician, who reluctantly auditioned for, and was appointed to, the post of organist at Linz Cathedral. His composition skills were reinforced by prolonged private study of harmony and strict counterpoint, although he still felt ill-prepared to write symphonic works. In 1868 he became professor of harmony, counterpoint and organ at the Vienna Conservatory, and slowly developed his reputation as an outstanding symphonist. Although wounded by adverse criticism, the devoutly religious, deeply insecure Bruckner addressed issues of human existence and the mystery of creation within his nine monumental symphonies. He died in Vienna on 11 October 1896.

from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2014

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