Anton Bruckner born 4 September 1824 was an Austrian composer known primarily for his symphonies, masses, and motets. His symphonies are often considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, complex polyphony, and considerable length. Bruckner`s compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism, owing to their dissonances, unprepared modulations, and roving harmonies.
He was the son of a village schoolmaster and organist, with whom he first studied and for whom he could deputize when he was ten, his father died in 1837 and he was sent 13 as a chorister to the St Florian monastery where he could study organ, violin and theory. He later went on to work at Linz Cathedral, were he worked from 1856-1868.
In 1868 he accepted a post as a teacher of music theory at the Vienna Conservatory. He was humble, straightforward, uncomplicated, unpretentious and unsophisticated and remained a country bumpkin even in sophisticated and elegant Vienna where he habitually dressed in a bulky black suit and a wide brimmed black hat. Yet he had a warm sense of humor and was a lively conversationalist, especially when music was the topic.
Bruckner was a deeply devout man, and it is not by chance that his symphonies have been compared to cathedrals in their scale and their grandeur and in their aspiration to the sublime. He struggled to gain recognition in his lifetime but is now universally acknowledged as a major symphonist. The final accomplishment of Bruckner`s life was to be his Symphony No. 9 in D minor, which he started in 1887. The first three movements were completed at the end of 1894, but by the time of his death in 1896, he had not finished the last movement, but he left extensive sketches.
Bruckner died in Vienna 11 October 1896, of natural causes, he requested that his last resting place be in St. Florian under the Organ at the Stiftkirche.