September 4, 1824
October 11, 1896 in Vienna
Also Known As:
His full name was Josef Anton Bruckner; he was an Austrian organist, teacher and composer especially noted for his symphonies.
Type of Compositions:
Anton Bruckner received early instruction from his father who was a schoolmaster and organist at Ansfelden, Austria. By age 10 he could already play the organ proficiently. He studied for a year with J.B. Weiss, his godfather. In 1837, after his father's death, Bruckner became chorister at St. Florian. He became teacher at St. Florian in 1845 and three years later became organist of its church. In 1855, he became organist at Linz Cathedral then started studying counterpoint and harmony with Simon Sechter through a correspondence course. He completed the course in 1861.
Wanting to broaden his knowledge, he studied orchestration and symphonic form with Otto Kitzler. Bruckner was also influenced by the works of Berlioz, Liszt and especially, Wagner. After hearing Wagner's "Tannhauser," Bruckner was inspired to write his own symphonies. In 1868, he became professor at the Vienna Conservatory and organist at the Imperial Chapel. In 1875, he was appointed lecturer at the University of Vienna and in 1891 received a doctorate from the university.
His works include "Requiem in D Minor," "Ave Maria," "Mass in D Minor," "Symphony No. 1 in C Minor," "Mass in E Minor," "Mass in F Minor," "Locus iste," "Christus factus est," "Ecce sacerdos magnus," "String Quintet in F Major," "Psalm 150," "Te Deum," "Helgoland" and "Symphony No. 9 in D Minor" (left unfinished). Bruckner's "Symphony No. 7 in E Major," which premiered in Leipzig in 1884, was a huge success and marked a turning point in his career.
It has been mentioned that despite his great talent as a composer, Bruckner was insecure of his abilities. He had a nervous breakdown in 1866 but managed to recover from it, although he remained lacking in self-esteem throughout his life. Truly, Bruckner overcame many obstacles during his lifetime including those who were anti-Wagnerian. Most notable of them was the critic Eduard Hanslick. St. Florian remained an important part of Bruckner's life. He is buried beneath the organ at the Abbey Church of St. Florian.
Listen to Anton Bruckner's "Locus iste" sung by The Corydon Singers courtesy of YouTube.