A late starter, Bruckner only started composing seriously at 37, well past the age that Mozart died. He is best known for his symphonies, of which he composed nine.
Born: Ansfelden, nr Linz, Austria 4 September 1824
Father: Anton, village schoolteacher and organist
Mother: Therese Helm (my namesake! but no relation)
Siblings: eldest of 11 children
Died: 11 October 1896 in Vienna
Cause of death: old age (72)
Grave: at his request buried in the crypt under the organ of St Florian Church, Linz, Austria. see findagrave
Worked as a teacher, organist and composer.
Best known works:
- "They want me to write differently. Certainly I could, but I must not. God has chosen me from thousands and given me, of all people, this talent. It is to Him that I must give account. How then would I stand there before Almighty God, if I followed the others and not Him?"
- "Symphonic boaconstrictors" Brahms on Bruckner's symphonies
Bruckner in Art
an interesting compilation of art, caricatures, album covers, postage stamps etc.
- He was by all accounts a kind, good natured man.
- He came from humble origins and lacked social graces.
- His clothes were generally far too big and untidy.
- He was a deeply devout Christian..
- He was slightly above average height but rather overweight so he seemed shorter. He had blue eyes and a big nose. He kept his hair very short.
- He liked beer and was a hopeless romantic. He proposed marriage to many young ladies only to be always turned down. He never managed to get married.
- He was self critical of his work and often reworked his compositions so there are several versions of many of his works.
- For a period he suffered from numeromania, more commonly known now as obsessive compulsive disorder, during which he was obsessed by numbers. Ken Russell made a 50 minute film about it for ITV's South Bank Show.- 'The Strange Affliction of Anton Bruckner'.
- Childhood: His father was a teacher and organist and gave him his first lessons on the piano, organ and violin.
- By the age of 10 he sometimes deputised for his father as the church organist.
- Age 13: His father died and he was sent to the Augustinian monastery of St.Florian in Linz as a chorister and where he also studied the organ.
- Age 16: sent to teacher training school in Linz
- Age 21; Joins the teaching staff at St.Florian
- Age 24: Appointed organist at St.Florian
- Age 31: Appointed organist at Linz cathedral.
- Age 44: Professor of music theory at Vienna Conservatory. Premiere of his Symphony No1 - a disaster.
- Age 48: Visited London. Gave 6 organ recitals in the albert Hall and 5 at Crystal Palace
- Age 51: Appointed Professor of Music at Vienna University
- Age 60: His 7th Symphony brings him success at last.
- Age 72: Dies without managing to complete his 9th Symphony.
For more information about his life see the links below
Nachspiel in D minor
- played on The Bruckner Organ at St.Florian
The Bruckner Organ
- He had a lifelong passion for the organ.
- His father was the organist at their local church.
- He was renown as one of Europe's best organists and during his lifetime, like Bach, was better known as an organist than for his compositions.
- Strangely he left little or no compositions for the organ although his symphonies have much of the 'feel' of the organ.
- He was buried, in accordance with his wishes, in the vault underneath his beloved organ at St Florian in Linz. That organ is nown known as 'The Bruckner Organ'
- See and hear it here at this website
excerpts played by the Cleveland Orchestra
Mass No 3
sung by Norway's Schola Cantorum
Books and CDs on Amazon.com (US)
Bruckner on facebook
Click the Facebook logo to visit the Anton Bruckner Radio page.
- Answers.com various reference site entries, including Wikipedia
- ClassicalNet - interesting biographical article "The Eternal Student"
- The Life of Anton Bruckner by Gabriel Engel (pdf)
- The Bruckner Discography
also contains an excellent graphics gallery at:http://www.abruckner.com/articles/brucknerpicturegal/