Anton Bruckner

@Composers, Life Achievements and Personal Life

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

Sep 4, 1824

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Personal Details

  • Birthday: September 4, 1824
  • Died on: October 11, 1896
  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Famous: Musicians, Composers
  • Birth Place: Ansfelden
  • Gender: Male

Anton Bruckner born at


Birth Place

Anton Bruckner’s Childhood And Early LifeAnton 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".CareerOverlooking 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 LegacyBruckner 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, 1849Overture in G minor, 1862String Quartet in C minor, 1862Symphony No. 1 in C minor, 1866Intermezzo in D minor, 1879

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