Anton Bruckner (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: Rising from modest rural origins, Bruckner first established himself as one of the leading organists of his time, then persevered in his creative work to produce a great series of choral and symphonic works. Musically eloquent and possessing a unique sense of spiritual aspiration, the finest of Bruckner’s large-scale compositions belong to the essential repertoire of nineteenth century music.
Anton Bruckner was born to Anton and Theresa Bruckner on September 4, 1824, in the village of Ansfelden, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His family was for generations engaged in modest occupations such as broom-making and innkeeping, but both Bruckner’s father and his grandfather had become schoolteachers, a position of modest status but substantial responsibilities. One of the tasks of a schoolteacher in those days was to oversee the basic musical education of his students. Thus, it was Bruckner’s father who first instructed him in singing and in the playing of various instruments. Though young Anton seems to have played a child’s violin as early as age four, he showed no special talent until the age of ten, when his godfather and cousin, Johann Weiss, took him into his own home in the nearby town of Hörsching to instruct him in the playing of the organ. One likely cause for Anton’s move may have been the crowded Bruckner household; he was the first of eleven children, though only five...
(The entire section is 2683 words.)
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