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Anton Webern
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    (December 3, 1883-September 15, 1945)
    Born in Vienna, Austria
    Student of Arnold Schoenberg
    Proponent of Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique
    Works include 'Passacaglia' (1908), 'Six Bagatelles' for string quarter (1913), 'Five Sacred Songs' (1917), 'Variations for Piano' (1936) and 'Variations for Orchestra' (1940)
    His work has a reputation for being 'difficult,' with a BBC reviewer noting 'the idea of Webern's music is enough to cause a shudder in some people.'
    He married his first cousin.
    He was shot by an overzealous American soldier when he violated curfew by stepping outside of his daughter's house to smoke a cigar.
    Ironically, at the end of WWII he had moved from his home in Vienna to his daughter's home near Salzburg because he thought he would be safer there.
    His work was influential with one critic writing 'Despite his small output, very few modern composers have not had to cope with his influence in some way.'
    The Nazis denounced his music as 'cultural Bolshevism,' and after their takeover of Austria he had to become a proofreader for a music publisher to earn a living.
    His son Peter died in WWII when his military train was strafed by aircraft.

Credit: C. Fishel

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