A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Bruckner, Anton

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BRUCKNER, Anton, organist and composer, born Sept. 4, 1824 at Ausfelden (Upper Austria), and received his earliest musical instruction from his father, a village schoolmaster, at whose death he was received as a chorister into the institute (Stift) of St. Florian, where he afterwards became organist. In 1855 he obtained by competition the post of organist of Linz cathedral. From here he made frequent journeys to Vienna to prosecute his studies under Sechter, and from 1861 to 1863 he was a pupil of Otto Kitzler. At Sechter's death in 1867 he was chosen to succeed him as organist of the Hofkapelle, and at the same time became a professor in the Conservatorium. To these functions he added a lectureship at the University, to which he was appointed in 1875. In 1869 he took part in an organ competition at Nancy with such success that he was invited to play in Paris and elsewhere; in 1871 he gave six recitals at the Albert Hall. Three grand masses, besides several compositions for male chorus, are among his vocal compositions, but his fame rests chiefly upon his seven symphonies, the last (published in 1885) played at the Richter concert of May 23, 1887. His style is marked by great earnestness and considerable originality, though it may be reproached with a certain lack of contrast, and an inordinate leaning towards the manner of Wagner, upon whose death the slow movement of the symphony already referred to was written as a kind of elegy. (Died Oct. 11, 1896.)

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