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Schönberg, Arnold (1874 - 1951)

Arnold Schoenberg was an Austrian composer and painter, associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School.

Arnold Schönberg was born on the 13th September 1874 in Vienna. He lived there until 1933 when he emigrated to the United States via France. He died in Los Angeles on the 13th July 1951. Arnold Schönberg is considered to be the founder of twelve-tone music.

Largely self-taught, he also took lessons from his friend Alexander von Zemlinsky. He soon began to give music instruction himself, and in fact attracted his first pupils by advertising, earning his livelihood as choir director, arranger of operetta music and as a pianist. His earliest works, which are Late Romantic in spirit, attracted the interest of his contemporaries. These compositions reflect the influence of Brahms, Wagner and Richard Strauss. Atonality, or the dissolution of harmony - which until Schönberg was the foundation of musical composition - is considered the musical counterpart to expressionism in painting.

Schönberg’s oeuvre has many facets. Not only did he compose works including the "Songs of Gurra" ("Gurrelieder"), operas ("Die Glückliche Hand" and "Moses und Aaron"), and choral and orchestral pieces, but he also published theoretical studies such as "Theory of Harmony" (1911).