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von Webern, Anton (1883 - 1945)

Anton von Webern was an Austrian composer and conductor. As a student and follower of Arnold Schönberg, he became one of the best-known exponents of the twelve-tone technique. In addition, his innovations regarding schematic organization of pitch, rhythm and dynamics were formative in the musical technique later known as total serialism.

Although Anton von Webern was born in Vienna (3rd December 1883) he grew up in the country. He returned to the capital for his musical training, which included studies in music theory with Guido Adler.

As his dissertation he published an edition of early sixteenth-century liturgical chants. Webern, who was a student of Arnold Schönberg, is considered the father of "serial", systematically deconstructed music. His reductionist but by no means unemotional compositions are miniature masterpieces. Webern composed cantatas, lieder, choral music, pieces for piano, as well as orchestral and chamber music, and also held a series of lectures entitled "The Path to New Music".

On 15th September 1945, Anton von Webern was shot and killed by mistake in Mittersill in SalzburgerLand by a soldier of the American occupation forces in a raid intended to capture his son-in-law who was involved in cigarette smuggling.

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