Anton Bruckner - Composers, Life Achievements and Personal Life

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Anton Bruckner's Personal Details

The sparkling career of Anton Bruckner has always been an inspiration for many

BirthdaySeptember 4, 1824
Died onOctober 11, 1896
FamousMusicians, Composers
Birth PlaceAnsfelden
FatherAnton Bruckner
Sun SignVirgo
Born inAnsfelden
Famous asComposer
Died at Age72

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Who is Anton Bruckner?

Anton Bruckner, one of the most brilliant and admired composers of the nineteenth century, was known for symphonies, masses and motets, which even today continues to enamor its listeners. His exemplary Austro-German Romantic compositions are marked for their smooth and flowing harmonic language and polyphonic character. This eminent composer had an immense influence on the following generation of musicians — one of his friends, Gustav Mahler, even went on to describe him as ‘half simpleton, half god’. Quite contrary to other musical radicals like Richard Wagner or Hugo Wolf, Bruckner comported himself with great humility in front of other musicians, especially Wagner. Though often his works, especially the symphonies in particular, received belittling remarks from influential Austrian critic, Eduard Hanslick and other devotees of Johannes Brahms, for their large size and use of repetition, they hardly succeeded in killing the spirit of this musical master. He along with his friend improvised and revived many of his works, which received immense appreciations. To know more about this great organist, continue reading.

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Biography detail

Anton Bruckner’s Childhood And Early Life

Anton Bruckner was born on September 4, 1824 in Ansfelden (then a village, now a suburb of Linz). His father was a schoolteacher and an organist from whom Bruckner obtained his first music lessons in childhood. At the age of six, Bruckner was admitted to the school, but being a hard-working student, he was promoted to upper class early. Even as a student, Bruckner used to assist his father in teaching other children. In the year 1833, Bruckner's father decided to send him to another school in Hörsching. Johann Baptist Weib, the schoolmaster, was a great music enthusiast and a wonderful organist. Bruckner completed his school education under his tutelage and became an excellent organ player. There Bruckner also wrote his first composition, Vier Präludien in Es-Dur für Orgel for the organ. Due to his father’s illness, Anton returned to Ansfelden to help his father in his work. In 1837, when Bruckner was just 13-years-old, his father passed away. Bruckner inherited his father’s teaching position and the house and was sent to the Augustinian monastery in St. Florian to become a choirboy. Apart from choir practice, he also had violin and organ lessons. At the monastery, Bruckner had a fascination for the Monastery’s great organ, built during the late baroque era and rebuilt in 1837, which Bruckner often played during church services. However, the organ was later renamed after him and came to be known as the "Bruckner Organ".


Overlooking Bruckner’s musical bent, his mother insisted that Bruckner’s future lay in teaching, and hence he was sent to a teacher seminar in Linz in 1840. Bruckner came through with flying colors in the seminar and was subsequently sent to serve as a teacher's assistant to a school in Windhaag. There Bruckner received a meager payment and humiliations from his superior teacher Franz Fuchs. Prelate Michael Arneth, realizing Bruckner’s plight in Windhaag, awarded him a teacher's assistant position in St. Florian, and sent him to Kronstorf an der Enns for two years. This change turned out to be extremely fruitful. There at Kronstorf, his compositions exhibited signs of maturity as compared to his earlier dabblings and marked the beginning of a promising career.

In 1845, Bruckner returned to St. Florian from Kronstorf, and pursued a career as a teacher and an organist for ten years. After passing an examination in May 1845, Bruckner earned the position of an assistant teacher in one of the village schools of St. Florian. He kept on earning higher degrees, which allowed him to take up teaching positions in higher education institutes. He was appointed as an organist in St. Florian in 1848; the position was made regular three years later in 1851. In St. Florian, most of the repertoire consisted of the music of Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, Michael Haydn and Franz Joseph Aumann. Bruckner’s incessant thirst for music urged him to take up a counterpoint course with Simon Sechter. In 1861, he commenced his further studies with Otto Kitzler, who introduced him to the music of Richard Wagner, which Bruckner studied extensively from 1863 onwards. Bruckner continued his studies till the age of 40, but it was not until he turned 60 that he earned fame and recognition. In 1861, Bruckner came in contact with Franz Liszt, an important harmonic innovator who shared his Catholic faith. After Bruckner wrapped up his studies under Sechter and Kitzler, he wrote his first major work the Mass in D Minor.

After Sechter’s demise in 1868, Bruckner reluctantly took up Sechter's position as a teacher of music theory at the Vienna Conservatory, and devoted himself solely to writing symphonies. However the symphonies created during this period earned mostly criticism and were remarked as "wild" and "nonsensical". Later, in 1875, he was appointed to the Vienna University, where he sought to include music theory in the curriculum. While in Vienna, he resented the musical dominance of critic Eduard Hanslick. The musical community in Vienna was split into two sects — the advocates of the music of Wagner and the admirers of Brahms. Bruckner protagonism for Wagner’s style made an unintentional enemy out of Hanslick. His supporters included Deutsche Zeitung's music critic Theodor Helm, and famous conductors such as Arthur Nikisch and Franz Schalk. These friends also assisted Bruckner to make certain improvisations in his music so as to be more acceptable to the public, which Bruckner complied to. Apart from symphonies, Bruckner also wrote masses, some more sacred choral works, motets and some chamber works, including a string quintet.  Bruckner was one of the most prominent organists of his day. In two of his most famous performances in France in 1869 and in England in 1871, he enchanted the audiences with his six recitals on a new Henry Willis organ. He was graced with the Order of Franz Joseph in July 1886 by the Emperor.

Personal Life

Though Bruckner made several unsuccessful marriage proposals to teenage girls, he remained a bachelor throughout his life. Once he even proposed the daughter of one of his friends, Louise. The cantata "Entsagen" (Renunciation) is said to have been composed in her grief. He fell in love of a 17-year-old peasant girl in the cast of the Oberammergau Passion Play in 1880. However, his unusual penchants for teenage girl seemed to have been stirred by his fear of sin. He believed that unlike older women, if he married a teenage girl, he could be certain of her virginity. However, his obsession for these teenage girls lasted even when he was past his 70th birthday. Once he came extremely close to marrying a teenage girl, but the relationship ended when she refused to accept Catholicism.

Death And Legacy

Bruckner left for his heavenly abode in 1896 in Vienna when he was 72. He is buried in the crypt of St. Florian monastery church, just below his favorite organ. Before his death, he instructed to embalm his corpse. In the year 1932, the Anton Bruckner Private University for Music, Drama and Dance, an institution of higher education in Linz in Ansfelden was named in his honor. The Bruckner Orchester Linz was also named after him.

Major works

  • Requiem in D minor, 1849
  • Overture in G minor, 1862
  • String Quartet in C minor, 1862
  • Symphony No. 1 in C minor, 1866
  • Intermezzo in D minor, 1879

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Anton Bruckner's FAQ

  • What is Anton Bruckner birthday?

    Anton Bruckner was born at 1824-09-04

  • When was Anton Bruckner died?

    Anton Bruckner was died at 1896-10-11

  • Where was Anton Bruckner died?

    Anton Bruckner was died in Vienna

  • Which age was Anton Bruckner died?

    Anton Bruckner was died at age 72

  • Where is Anton Bruckner's birth place?

    Anton Bruckner was born in Ansfelden

  • What is Anton Bruckner nationalities?

    Anton Bruckner's nationalities is Austrian

  • Who is Anton Bruckner's father?

    Anton Bruckner's father is Anton Bruckner

  • What is Anton Bruckner's sun sign?

    Anton Bruckner is Virgo

  • How famous is Anton Bruckner?

    Anton Bruckner is famouse as Composer

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