Bruckner, Anton

Bruckner, Anton

Bruckner, Anton, 1824-96, Austrian composer. He was appointed organist at the Linz cathedral in 1856 before becoming court organist in Vienna in 1868, where he later taught at the conservatory and university. He established a reputation as a virtuoso organist on trips to France in 1869 and to England in 1871, but as a composer he gained recognition slowly. Although he was influenced by the chromatic harmony and orchestral grandeur of Wagner's music, his work is marked by contrapuntal complexity and extended melodies, in the formal tradition of Beethoven and Schubert. His outstanding works are the Masses in D Minor (1864), in E Minor (1869), and F Minor (1872); a Te Deum (1886); and nine symphonies, of which the Fourth or Romantic (1881), the Eighth, or Apocalyptic (composed 1884-87), and the Ninth (composed 1891-96) are best known. He also wrote motets, cantatas, chamber music, piano and organ pieces, and pieces for male chorus.

See studies by H. F. Redlich (1955), E. Doernberg (1960, repr. 1968), and R. Simpson (Am. ed. 1968).

(born Sept. 4, 1824, Ansfelden, Austria—died Oct. 11, 1896, Vienna) Austrian composer. Son of a rural schoolmaster who died in Anton's youth, he was taken into a monastery as a choirboy and there learned to play the organ. Greatly gifted, he became organist at Linz Cathedral in 1855; throughout his composing career, his orchestrations would be compared to organ sonorities. In 1865 he heard Tristan und Isolde in Munich and thereafter idolized Richard Wagner, though his own works remained indebted to Ludwig van Beethoven. In 1868 he was appointed professor at the Vienna Conservatory and settled in Vienna for the rest of his life. He was 60 before he achieved fame with his Symphony No. 7 in E Major (1884). He was socially awkward and eccentric, and he remained a deeply devout Christian to his death. His reputation rests on his nine mature symphonies (1866–96), his three masses, and his Te Deum (1884).

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Anton is a given name in many European languages. It is a variant of the same root as Antonius or Anthony.



  • Anton, a mythological son of Hercules created by Mark Antony and from whom he claimed descent
  • Anton, a fictional geneticist, credited with discovering Anton's Key, in the Ender's Game series of books by Orson Scott Card
  • Anton Chigurh, the antagonist in the Cormac McCarthy novel No Country for Old Men and the movie of the same title.
  • Anton is the name of an Assassin hero character in the massively-multiplayer online RPG game Guild Wars.
  • Anton Phibes, murderous organist in two cult movies starring Vincent Price.
  • Anton Jackson, a filthy, drunken homeless person portrayed by Damon Wayans featured recurringly on the American comedy sketch show In Living Color.


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