Anton Webern

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Anton Webern (1883-1945), Austrian composer, was a leading student of Arnold Schoenberg, part of the “Second Viennese School” with Alban Berg, and more than any other, was uncompromising in following and expanding on, the atonal ideals, and later the serialist system, of the master.

His output was small – only 31 works, and many of them miniatures (about 3 hours of music in all) – and his audience is also at a minimum due to the inaccessibility of his music which, despite (or perhaps, because of) possessing a degree of intellectual delicacy of form and intensity of manner, is almost impossible for the average music-lover to appreciate, despite the efforts of a small number of devoted apologists.

He died during the Allied occupation of Vienna at the end of World War II - shot by an American soldier while enjoying a cigarette outside his front door during curfew.

Reference: The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music (1988) p. 823