Johann G. Albrechtsberger

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger was born in 1736 at Klosterneuburg and died in Vienna in 1809. In 1772 he was appointed Court Organist and in 1792 Kapellmeister at St. Stephen's in Vienna. He was not only a celebrated teacher of music theory, about which he wrote a number of books and pamphlets, but also a very prolific composer of masses, symphonies, quartets and many other chamber combinations. On 9 Mai 1791, the Vienna Municipal Council approved his application and appointed him as assistant to Leopold Hofmann, the aged kapellmeister at St. Stephen's Cathedral. Haydn's departure would have been a natural moment for Beethoven to end his studies in Vienna and return to Bonn. Instead, however, Haydn arranged for Beethoven to continue his studies in Vienna with Johann Albrechtsberger, a noted theorist, composer, and leading disciple of the Fux tradition of learned counterpoint. In the absence of Haydn, he was the obvious choice. Maximilian Franz visited Vienna early in 1794 and presumably endorsed this new arrangement; but he terminated Beethoven's salary, with the last payment being in February, covering the first quarter of the year. Beethoven was allowed to remain 'without salary in Vienna, until recalled', but the recall never came, and before the end of the year the Elector himself had been driven out of Bonn for good by the French.
Concerning the nature of the instruction which Beethoven received from Albrechtsberger It becan again with simple counterpoint, in which Beethoven now received more detailed directions than had been given him by Haydn. Albrechtsberger wrote down rules for him, Beethoven did the same and worked out a large number of exercies on two cantus firmi which Albrechtsberger then corrected according to the rules of strict writing. After 1785, Beethoven more and more made the manner of Mozart his own, he continues the Instruction which he received from Haydn and Albrechtsberger enrichted him with new forms and media of expression and these effected a change in his mode of writing. The voices acquired greater melodic flow and independence. A certain opacity took the place of the former transparency in the musical fabric. Out of a homophonic polyphony of two or more voices, there grew a polyphony that was real. The earlier obbligato accompaniment gave way to an obbligato style of writing which rested to a greater extent on counterpoint. Beethoven has accepted the principle of polyphony; his part-writing has become purer and it is noteworthy that the compositions written immediately after the lessons are among the purest that Beethoven ever composed. True, the Mozart model still shines through the fabric, but we seek it less in the art of figuration than in the form and other things which are only indirectly associated with the obbligato style. Similarly, we can speak of other invfluences--that of Joseph Haydn, for instance. This influence is not contrapuntal. Beethoven built upon his acquired and inherited possessions. He assimilated the traditional forms and means of expressions, gradually eliminated foreign influences and, following the pressure of his subjective nature with its inclination towards the ideal, he created his own individual style.
Ludwig van Beethoven

At an early age, Beethoven took an interest in music, and his father taught him day and night, on returning to the house from music practice or the tavern. Without doubt, the child was gifted, and his father Johann envisaged creating a new Mozart, a child prodigy.
But the musical and teaching talents of Johann were limited. Soon Ludwig learned music, notably the organ and composition by renowned musicians, such as Gottlob Neefe.
Prince Maximilian Franz was also aware of Beethoven's gift, and so he sent Beethoven to Vienna, in 1787, to meet Mozart and to further his musical education. Vienna was, after all, the beacon city in terms of culture and music. There exist only texts of disputable authenticity on the subject of this meeting between Mozart and Beethoven. Mozart is thought to have said "Don't forget his name - you will hear it spoken often."!At Vienna, the young musician took lessons with Haydn, then with Albrechtsberger and Salieri. He captured the attention of, and astonished, Vienna, with his virtuosity and his improvisations on piano. In 1794, Beethoven composed his opus 1, three trios for piano. The following year, Beethoven made his first public performance at Vienna (an "Academy") whereby each musician was to play his own work. In 1800, Beethoven organised a new concert at Vienna including, notably, the presentation of his first symphony. Although today we find this work classical, and close to the works of Mozart and Haydn, at the time certain listeners found the symphony strange, overly extravagant, and even risqué. This genius, Beethoven, who was still a young, new composer, was already pushing the established boundaries of music.

At the end of July 1812, Beethoven met Goethe, under the organisation of Bettina Brentano. These two great men admired each other, but didn't understand each other. The composer found the poet too servile, and the poet last estimation was that Beethoven was "completely untamed". Beethoven admired Goethe, he put to music several of his poems. I always regretted not having been better understood by Goethe. May 7th 1824 was the date of the first playing of the ninth symphony and despite musical difficulties, and problems in the sung parts, it was a success. Unfortunately it was not financially rewarding. Financial problems constantly undermined the composer. He always had money put to one side, but he was keeping it for his nephew.
The funeral rites took place at the church of the Holy Trinity. It is estimated that between 10 000 and 30 000 people attended. Franz Schubert, timid and a huge admirer of Beethoven, without ever having become close to him, was one of the coffin bearers, along with other musicians. Schubert died the next year and was buried next to Beethoven.

Alban Berg

(born Vienna, 9 February 1885; died there, 24 December 1935).
He wrote songs as a youth but had no serious musical education before his lessons with Schönberg, which began in 1904. Webern was a pupil at the same time, a crucial period in Schönberg's creative life, when he was moving rapidly towards and into atonality. Berg's Piano Sonata op.1 (1908) is still tonal, but the Four Songs op.2 (1910) move away from key and the op.3 String Quartet (1910) is wholly atonal; it is also remarkable in sustaining, through motivic development, a larger span when the instrumental works of Schönberg and Webern were comparatively momentary.

Then came the Five Songs for soprano op.4 (1912), miniatures setting poetic instants by Peter Altenberg. This was Berg's first orchestral score, and though it shows an awareness of Schönberg, Mahler and Debussy, it is brilliantly conceived and points towards Wozzeck - and towards 12-note serialism, notably in its final passacaglia. More immediately Berg produced another set of compact statements, the Four Pieces for clarinet and piano op.5 (1913), then returned to large form with the Three Orchestral Pieces op.6 (1915), a thematically linked sequence of prelude, dance movement and funeral march. The prelude begins and ends in the quiet noise of percussion; the other two movements show Berg's discovery of how traditional forms and stylistic elements (including tonal harmony) might support big structures.

In May 1914 Berg saw the Vienna premiere of Büchner's Woyzeck and formed the plan of setting it. He started the opera in 1917, while he was in the Austrian army (1915-18), and finished it in 1922. He made his own selection from the play's fragmentary scenes to furnish a three-act libretto for formal musical setting: the first act is a suite of five character pieces (five scenes showing the simple soldier Wozzeck in different relationships), the second a five-movement symphony (for the disintegration of his liaison with Marie), the third a set of five inventions on different ostinato ideas (for the tragedy's brutally nihilist climax). The close musical structuring, extending to small details of timing, may be seen as an analogue for the mechanical alienness of the universe around Büchner's central characters, though Berg's music crosses all boundaries, from atonal to tonal (there is a Mahlerian interlude in d Minor), from speech to song, from café music to sophisticated textures of dissonant counterpoint. Wozzeck had its premiere in Berlin in 1925 and thereafter was widely produced, bringing Berg financial security

Johannes Brahms

(born Hamburg, 7 May 1833; died Vienna, 3 April 1897).
He studied the piano from the age of seven and theory and composition (with Eduard Marxsen) from 13, gaining experience as an arranger for his father's light orchestra while absorbing the popular alla zingarese style associated with Hungarian folk music. In 1853, on a tour with the Hungarian violinist Reményi, he met Joseph Joachim and Liszt; Joachim, who became a lifelong friend, encouraged him to meet Robert Schumann. Brahms's artistic kinship with Robert Schumann and his profound romantic passion (later mellowing to veneration) for Clara Schumann, 14 years his elder, never left him. After a time in Düsseldorf he worked in Detmold, settling in Hamburg in 1859 to direct a women's chorus. Though well known as a pianist he had trouble finding recognition as a composer, largely owing to his outspoken opposition - borne out in his d Minor Piano Concerto op.15 - to the aesthetic principles of Liszt and the New German School. But his hopes for an official conducting post in Hamburg (never fulfilled) were strengthened by growing appreciation of his creative efforts, especially the two orchestral serenades, the Handel Variations for piano and the early piano quartets. He finally won a position of influence in 1863-4, as director of the Vienna Singakademie, concentrating on historical and modern a cappella works. Around this time he met Wagner, but their opposed stances precluded anything like friendship. Besides giving concerts of his own music, he made tours throughout northern and central Europe and began teaching the piano. He settled permanently in Vienna in 1868.
Franz Anton Hoffmeister

was born in Rothenburg am Neckar in May 1754. When he was only 14 years old he arrived in Vienna to study law, but soon became so attracted to the city’s rich musical life, that upon graduating, he decided to devote his life to music, both with composition and, as it turned out publishing. By the 1780s he had become one of the city’s most popular composers, with an extensive and varied list of works to his credit. His music was geared more towards the skilled amateur market than to the professional, meaning that he was tapping into the developing middle class coming to the forefront in Vienna. Over 15 years Hoffmeister issued works by many prominent Viennese composers amongst them Albrechtsberger, Clementi, E.A. Förster, Ordonez, Pleyel, Vanhal and Paul Wranitzky, as well as himself. Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn are all represented in his vast catalogue, Mozart by several important first editions including the G minor Piano Quartet K.478, and the single String Quartet in D K.499, the ‘Hoffmeister’ Quartet. In 1799 Hoffmeister and the flautist Franz Thurner set off on a concert tour that was to have taken them as far a field as London. They got no further than Leipzig however, where Hoffmeister befriended the organist Ambrosius Kühnel. The two must have decided to set up a music publishing partnership for “within a year” they had founded the Bureau de Musique that would later grow into the well-respected firm of C.F. Peters, which is still active today. Until 1805 Hoffmeister kept both the Viennese firm and the newer Leipzig publishing house going, but in March 1805 he transferred sole ownership of the Bureau de Musique to Kühnel, arranging as part of the transfer a life annuity for himself.

He was a very prolific composer; popular not only in Vienna and Austria, but throughout the German states and other parts of Europe. His music can claim flowing and pleasant melodies, making them easy for amateurs to sound good with. Overall however, his style is lacking in depth and originality. For the most part, his music was out of fashion by the 1820’s. Prominent in Hoffmeister’s extensive listings of works are those for the flute, not only concertos but also chamber works with the flute in a leading role. Many of these works were composed with Vienna’s growing number of amateur musicians in mind for whom the flute was one of the most favored instruments.

Leopold Mozart

Composer, violinist, and writer on music. Received his education from the Jesuits in Augsburg, first at the gymnasium (from 1727), then at the lyceum (from 1735). After the death of his father, he entered the Benedictine University in Salzburg (in 1737); he was expelled two years later for excessive absences. He took a post as house musician for the count of Thurn-Valsassina und Taxis in Salzburg; during this period he published his first compositions, a set of six trio sonatas. He was appointed violinist to the Salzburg court chapel in 1743, and by 1763 had advanced to the position of Vice-Kapellmeister. His two surviving children, Maria Anna ("Nannerl") and Wolfgang Amadeus, were born to him and his wife Anna Maria (née Pertl) in 1751 and 1756, respectively.
After about 1760 Leopold devoted much of his energy to his children's musical education. Both Wolfgang and Nannerl were prodigies on the clavier, and beginning in 1762 Leopold took them on extensive, exhausting tours of the major musical centers of Europe. Though he is often criticized as an exploiter of his own children, Leopold felt it his mission to reveal to the world the "miracle that God allowed to be born in Salzburg." He must be given credit for giving his son a broad exposure to international musical styles, which was later to prove essential to his musical development. He took Wolfgang on tours of Austria, Germany, Holland, England, and France; he also served as the boy's stringent teacher of counterpoint and composition. After Wolfgang settled in Vienna, his father's time was increasingly occupied with teaching. Father and son became distant; Leopold made his last trip to Vienna in 1785 and died only partially satisfied with Wolfgang's successes. Among Leopold's own extensive oeuvre is a large number of sacred works (cantatas, oratorios, Masses, litanies, Magnificats, Psalms); many symphonies (a number of which have occasionally been attributed to Wolfgang), including the Symphony in D (De gustibus non est disputandum) and the Symphony in G (Sinfonia da caccia); serenades and divertimentos (incl. "Die Bauernhochzeit." D major, and "Die musikalische Schlittenfahrt," F major); concertos; chamber and keyboard music
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

born Salzburg, 27 January 1756; died Vienna, 5 December 1791). Son of Leopold Mozart.
He showed musical gifts at a very early age, composing when he was five and when he was six playing before the Bavarian elector and the Austrian empress. Leopold felt that it was proper, and might also be profitable, to exhibit his children's God-given genius (Maria Anna, 'Nannerl', 1751-1829, was a gifted keyboard player): so in mid-1763 the family set out on a tour that took them to Paris and London, visiting numerous courts en route. Mozart astonished his audiences with his precocious skills; he played to the French and English royal families, had his first music published and wrote his earliest symphonies. The family arrived home late in 1766; nine months later they were off again, to Vienna, where hopes of having an opera by Mozart performed were frustrated by intrigues.
They spent 1769 in Salzburg; 1770-73 saw three visits to Italy, where Mozart wrote two operas (Mitridate, Lucio Silla) and a serenata for performance in Milan, and acquainted himself with Italian styles. Summer 1773 saw a further visit to Vienna, probably in the hope of securing a post; there Mozart wrote a set of string quartets and, on his return, wrote a group of symphonies including his two earliest, nos.25 in g Minor and 29 in A, in the regular repertory. Apart from a joumey to Munich for the premiere of his opera La finta giardiniera early in 1775, the period from 1774 to mid-1777 was spent in Salzburg, where Mozart worked as Konzertmeister at the Prince- Archbishop's court; his works of these years include masses, symphonies, all his violin concertos, six piano sonatas, several serenades and divertimentos and his first great piano concerto, K271. In 1777 the Mozarts, seeing limited opportunity in Salzburg for a composer so hugely gifted, resolved to seek a post elsewhere for Wolfgang. He was sent, with his mother, to Munich and to Mannheim, but was offered no position (though he stayed over four months at Mannheim, composing for piano and flute and falling in love with Aloysia Weber). His father then dispatched him to Paris: there he had minor successes, notably with his Paris Symphony, no.31, deftly designed for the local taste. But prospects there were poor and Leopold ordered him home, where a superior post had been arranged at the court. He returned slowly and alone; his mother had died in Paris. The years 1779-80 were spent in Salzburg, playing in the cathedral and at court, composing sacred works, symphonies, concertos, serenades and dramatic music. But opera remained at the centre of his ambitions, and an opportunity came with a commission for a serious opera for Munich. He went there to compose it late in 1780; his correspondence with Leopold (through whom he communicated with the librettist, in Salzburg) is richly informative about his approach to musical drama. The work, Idomeneo, was a success. In it Mozart depicted serious, heroic emotion with a richness unparalleled elsewhere in his works, with vivid orchestral writing and an abundance of profoundly expressive orchestral recitative. In his early years in Vienna, Mozart built up his reputation by publishing (sonatas for piano, some with violin), by playing the piano and, in 1782, by having an opera performed: Die Entführung aus dem Serail, a German Singspiel which went far beyond the usual limits of the tradition with its long, elaborately written songs (hence Emperor Joseph II's famous observation, 'Too many notes, my dear Mozart'). The work was successful and was taken into the repertories of many provincial companies (for which Mozart was not however paid). In these years, too, he wrote six string quartets which he dedicated to the master of the form, Haydn: they are marked not only by their variety of expression but by their complex textures, conceived as four-part discourse, with the musical ideas linked to this freshly integrated treatment of the medium. Haydn told Mozart's father that Mozart was 'the greatest composer known to me in person or by name; he has taste and, what is more, the greatest knowledge of composition'.
Olga Neuwirth

Was born in Graz, Austria, on the 4th of August 1968
Started trumpet lessons at the age of seven.
From 1987-93 she studied composition with Erich Urbanner at the Vienna Academy of Music and Performing Arts. Her MA thesis was on the use of music in the Alain Resnais film "L'amour à mort". During that period she also studied at the Electroacoustic Institute. During 1985-86 she studied composition and theory with Elinor Armer at the Conservatory of Music in San Francisco, as well as fine art and film at the Art College. Her meetings with Adriana Hölszky, Tristan Murail and Luigi Nono have been a particular source of inspiration.
From 1993-94 she studied with Tristan Murail in Paris, and took part in the "Stage d'Informatique Musicale" at IRCAM, Paris
She was a member of the jury at the 1994 Munich Biennale, and during the same year was a member of the Composer's Forum at the Darmstadt Summer School; in 1994 she was awarded the "Publicitiy Preis" of the austro mechana for the production of a CD. In 1996 she was as a DAAD guest in Berlin. Two portrait concerts were dedicated to her in the Salzburg Festival 1998 within the series of concerts "Next Generation". In 1999 she was awarded the "Förderpreis der Ernst von Siemens-Stiftung", München and the "Hindemith-Preis" of the Schleswig-Holstein-Musik-Festival. Her first opera was performed during the "Wiener Festwochen" in 1999, and she was awarded the "Ernst Krenek-Preis" for it. In 2000 her composition "Clinamen/Nodus" which was written for Pierre Boulez and the London Symphony Orchestra was premiered in London then taken on a world tour.
In 2003 the world premiere of the opera "Lost Highway" based on the film by David Lynch (libretto: Elfriede Jelinek and Olga Neuwirth) was performed during the "steirischer herbst 2003" in co-production with "Graz 2003 - Cultural Capital of Europe" and Theater Basel.
Arnold Schoenberg

(born Vienna, 13 September 1874; died Los Angeles, 13 July 1951).
Austro-Hungarian composer, an American citizen from 1941.
He began violin lessons when he was eight and almost immediately started composing, though he had no formal training until he was in his late teens, when Zemlinsky became his teacher and friend (in 1910 he married Zemlinsky's sister). His first acknowledged works date from the turn of the century and include the string sextet Verklärte Nacht as well as some songs, all showing influences from Brahms, Wagner and Wolf. In 1901-3 he was in Berlin as a cabaret musician and teacher, and there he wrote the symphonic poem Pelleas und Melisande, pressing the Straussian model towards denser thematic argument and contrapuntal richness. He then returned to Vienna and began taking private pupils, Berg and Webern being among the first. He also moved rapidly forwards in his musical style. The large orchestra of Pelleas and the Gurrelieder was replaced by an ensemble of 15 in Chamber Symphony no.1, but with an intensification of harmonic strangeness, formal complexity and contrapuntal density: like the String Quartet no.1, the work is cast as a single movement encompassing the characters of the traditional four and using every effort to join unconventional ideas (a sequence of 4ths in the Chamber Symphony, for instance) into a conventional discourse. When atonality arrived, therefore, as it did in 1908, it came as the inevitable outcome of a doomed attempt to accommodate ever more disruptive material. However, Schönberg found it possible a quarter-century later to return to something like his tonal style in such works as the Suite in G for strings, the completion of the Chamber Symphony no.2 and the Theme and Variations for band. That, however, was not possible immediately. The sense of key was left behind as Schönberg set poems by Stefan George in the last two movements of String Quartet no.2 and in the cycle Das Buch der hängenden Gärten, and for the next few years he lived in the new, rarefied musical air. With tonality had gone thematicism and rhythmic constraint; works tended to be short statements of a single extreme musical state, justifying the term 'expressionist' (Five Orchestral Pieces; Three Pieces and Six Little Pieces for piano). The larger pieces of this period have some appropriate dramatic content: the rage and despair of a woman seaching for her lover (Erwartung), the bizarre stories, melancholia and jokes of a distintegrating personality (Pierrot lunaire, for reciter in Sprechgesang with mixed quintet), or the progress of the soul towards union with God (Die Jakobsleiter). Gradually Schönberg came to find the means for writing longer instrumental structures, in the 12-note serial method, and in the 1920s he retumed to standard forms and genres, notably in the Suite for piano, String Quartet no.3, Orchestral Variations and several choral pieces. He also founded the Society for Private Musical Performances (1919-21), involving his pupils in the presentation of new music under favourable conditions. In 1923 his wife died (he remarried the next year), and in 1925 he moved to Berlin to take a master class at the Prussian Academy of Arts. While there he wrote much of his unfinished opera Moses und Aron which is concerned with the impossibility of communicating truth without some distortion in the telling: it was a vehement confrontation with despair on the part of a composer who insisted on the highest standards of artistic honesty.
Franz Schubert

(born Vienna, 31 January 1797; died there, 19 November 1828).
The son of a schoolmaster, he showed an extraordinary childhood aptitude for music, studying the piano, violin, organ, singing and harmony and, while a chorister in the imperial court chapel, composition with Salieri (1808-13). By 1814 he had produced piano pieces settings of Schiller and Metastasio, string quartets, his first symphony and a three-act opera. Although family pressure dictated that he teach in his father's school, he continued to compose prolifically; his huge output of 1814-15 includes Gretchen am Spinnrade and Erlkönig (both famous for their text-painting) among numerous songs, besides two more symphonies, three masses and four stage works. From this time he enjoyed the companionship of several friends, especially Josef von Spaun, the poet Johann Mayrhofer and the law student Franz von Schober. Frequently gathering for domestic evenings of Schubert's music (later called 'Schubertiads'), this group more than represented the new phenomenon of an educated, musically aware middle class: it gave him an appreciative audience and influential contacts (notably the Sonnleithners and the baritone J.M. Vogl), as well as the confidence, in 1818, to break with schoolteaching. More songs poured out, including Der Wanderer and Die Forelle, and instrumental pieces - inventive piano sonatas, some tuneful, Rossinian overtures, the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies began to show increased harmonic subtlety. He worked briefly as music master to the Esterházy family, finding greater satisfaction writing songs, chamber music (especially the 'Trout' Quintet) and dramatic music. Schubert's fame was long limited to that of a songwriter, since the bulk of his large output was not even published, and some not even performed, until the late 19th century. Yet, beginning with the Fifth Symphony and the 'Trout' Quintet, he produced major instrumental masterpieces. These are marked by an intense lyricism (often suggesting a mood of near-pathos), a spontaneous chromatic modulation that is surprising to the ear yet clearly purposeful and often beguilingly expressive, and, not least, an imagination that creates its own formal structures. His way with sonata form, whether in an unorthodox choice of key for secondary material (Symphony in b Minor, 'Trout' Quintet) or of subsidiary ideas for the development, makes clear his maturity and individuality. The virtuoso 'Wanderer' Fantasy is equally impressive in its structure and use of cyclic form, while the String Quartet in G Major explores striking new sononties and by extension an emotional range of a violence new to the medium. The greatest of his chamber works however is acknowledged to be the String Quintet in C Major, with its rich sonorities, its intensity and its lyricism, and in the slow movement depth of feeling engendered by the sustained outer sections (with their insistent yet varied and suggestive accompanying ngures) embracing a central impassioned section in F minor. Among the piano sonatas, the last three, particularly the noble and spacious one in B-flat, represent another summit of achievement. His greatest orchestral masterpiece is the 'Great' C Major Symphony, with its remarkable formal synthesis, striking rhythmic vitality, felicitous orchestration and sheer lyric beauty.
Anton Webern

Anton Webern (December 3, 1883 - September 15, 1945) was a composer of classical music and a member of the so called Second Viennese School. He was born Anton Friedrich Wilhelm von Webern but never used his middle names, and dropped the von in 1918. Webern was born in Vienna in Austria. After spending much of his youth in Graz and Klagenfurt, Webern attended Vienna University from 1902. There he studied musicology with Guido Adler, writing his thesis on the Choralis Constantinus of Heinrich Isaac. This interest in early music would greatly influence his compositional technique in later years. He studied composition under Arnold Schoenberg, writing his Passacaglia, Op. 1 as his graduation piece in 1908. He met Alban Berg, who was also a pupil of Schoenberg's, and these two relationships would be the most important in his life in shaping his own musical direction. After graduating, he took a series of conducting posts at theatres in Ischl, Teplitz, Danzig, Stettin, and Prague before moving back to Vienna. There he helped to run Schoenberg's Society for Private Musical Performances and conducted the Vienna Workers Symphony Orchestra from 1922 to 1934. Webern's music was denounced as "cultural Bolshevism" when the Nazi Party seized power in Austria in 1938. As a result, he found it harder to earn a living, and had to take on work as an editor and proof-reader for his publishers, Universal Edition. Webern left Vienna in 1945 and moved to Mittersill in Salzburg, believing he would be safer there. On September 15 however, during Allied occupation of Austria, he was accidentally shot dead by an American Army soldier following the arrest of his son-in-law for black market activities. Like almost every composer who had a career of any length, Webern's music changed over time. However, it is typified by very spartan textures, in which every note can be clearly heard; carefully chosen timbres, often resulting in very detailed instructions to the performers and use of extended instrumental techniques (flutter tounging, col legno, and so on); frequent melodic leaps over the interval of a minor second or major seventh; and brevity: the Six Bagatelles for string quartet (1913), for instance, last about three minutes in total. For a number of years, Webern wrote pieces which were freely atonal, much in the style of Schoenberg's early atonal works. With the Drei Geistliche Volkslieder (1925) he used Schoenberg's twelve note technique for the first time, and all his subsequent works used this technique. The String Trio (1927) was both the first purely instrumental work using the twelve note technique (the other pieces were songs) and the first to use a traditional musical form. Webern's tone rows are often very intricately arranged such that within each twelve note row, the pitches are arranged into four groups of three which are variations on each other. This gives Webern's work a great motivic unity, although this is often disguised by his technique of moving a single melodic line around different instruments.
Joerg Widmann

was born in Munich on 19 June 1973. He studied clarinet at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich with Gerd Strake and at the Juilliard School of Music in New York with Charles Neidich. As a performer he won first prizes at the Carl-Maria-von-Weber-Wettbewerb in Munich and at the Wettbewerb deutscher Musikhochschulen in Berlin. In 1996 he received the Kulturförderpreis der Landeshauptstadt München, in 1997 the Bayerischer Staatspreis für junge Künstler and in 2001 the Louis Spohr Medaille der Stadt Seesen. In summer 2001 Jörg Widmann was appointed professor of clarinet at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg as a successor of Dieter Klöcker. Widmann performed with famous international and national orchestras. At the "musica viva" in 1999 he gave the world premiere of "Musik für Klarinette und Orchester ’Über die Linie II’" by Wolfgang Rihm, which was written especially for him.
He is one of the founders of the Ensemble TrioLog, which aims to promote the music of the 20th and 21st century. Since 1993 he has held master classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London and he has lectured a.o. at the conservatory in Odessa and at the Academy of Music in Lisbon. At the age of eleven, Widmann received his first lessons in composition with Kay Westermann and continued with Hans Werner Henze, Wilfried Hiller and Wolfgang Rihm. In 1999 he received the Belmont-Preis für zeitgenössische Musik of the Forberg-Schneider-Stiftung for his achievements in composition. In 2002 Jörg Widmann received on 16 June the Schneider-Schott-Musikpreis und on 15 August the Paul-Hindemith-Preis. In 2003 Jörg Widmann received one of the renowned prices by the Ernst von Siemens Stifung and the honorary award of the Munich Opern-Festspiele. Jörg Widmann lives in Freiburg and Munich.