Arnold Schönberg

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Schönberg, Arnold


Born Sept. 13, 1874, in Vienna; died July 13,1951, in Los Angeles, Calif. Austrian composer.

From 1901 to 1903, Schönberg taught composition at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. In 1903 he moved to Vienna, where he became known as a composer, conductor, and teacher and as an organizer and director of choral groups. He was a professor at the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin from 1925 to 1933. After the fascists came to power, he was forced to emigrate to the USA, where from 1936 to 1944 he taught composition at the University of California at Los Angeles.

In his early works, most notably in the string sextet Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night; 1899) and the symphonic poem Pelleas und Melisande (1903), Schönberg continued the traditions of German and Austrian romanticism and of R. Wagner. Later he developed the dodecaphonic, or twelve-tone, system of composition. Schönberg was the founder of atonal music and the most prominent representative of musical expressionism. His theories greatly influenced several generations of composers, notably—in addition to such students and followers of his as A. Berg and A. von Webern—E. Wellesz, E. Křenek, and R. Leibowitz.

Schönberg most consistently applied the twelve-tone system in such works as the Fünf Klavierstücke (1923), the Serenade for Septet and Baritone (1923), the concerti for violin (1936) and piano (1942), the monodrama Erwartung (1909, staged 1924), and the opera Moses und Aron (1932; concert performance, 1954). The music of these works, marked by artificiality and expressionist angst, is devoid of melody.

Shaken by the fascists’ destruction of the Warsaw ghetto, Schönberg wrote the story for speaker with orchestra and male chorus A Survivor From Warsaw (1947), in which he departed from his characteristic subjectivism. In his works Schönberg protested against the inhuman laws of the bourgeois state, but his overriding theme remained the tragic isolation of the artist in an alien and hostile world.

In addition to Pierrot Lunaire (1912), written for voice with chamber accompaniment, Schönberg’s other principal works include two chamber symphonies (1906 and 1939), four string quartets, compositions for voice and for piano, and numerous theoretical works.


Sollertinskii, I. Arnol’d Shenberg. Leningrad [1934].
Til’man, I. “O dodekafonnom metode kompozitsii.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1958, no. 11.
Pavlyshyn, S. “Misiachnyi P’ero” A. Shenberga. Kiev, 1972.


References in periodicals archive ?
According to the KG (Samtliche Werke / Arnold Schonberg, Abteilung V: Chorwerke Reihe B, Band 19, Chorwerke II Kritischer Bericht, Skizzen, Fragment, ed.
This desire and existential need to discover negative harmony (in the spirit of human rescue) begins to explain why Adorno, a consummate critic of music, is attracted to the difficult twelve-tone music of Arnold Schonberg, who articulates in music much of what Adorno writes as philosophy.
71, which together with the Arnold Schonberg Choir (choir master: Erwin Ortner) and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe was undertaken by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who also participated in another two programmes: Mozart auf Reisen, within the styriarteSOAPs concert series, and Mozart in Stainz (the opera project was skipped this year).
Bela Bartok, Alois Haba, Arnold Schonberg, Darius Milhaud and the society's founder Henry Cowell.
Their first collective action was a series of concerts in Rome that neatly surveyed twentieth-century avant-garde composition, from works by Charles Ives, Arnold Schonberg, Cage, and Karlheinz Stockhausen to experiments by the group's contemporaries, such as David Behrman, Cornelius Cardew, and Alvin Lucier.
A co-production with the BBC and recorded in London last June, it's a challenging art-song recital combining seven Cabaret Songs by American composer William Bolcom, eight by Arnold Schonberg (the Brettl-Lieder) and five by Erik Satie.
In a brief look at "The Young Arnold Schoenberg," Christian Meyer, Director of the Arnold Schonberg Center in Vienna, focuses on aspects of Schoenberg's life and music in the years before 1900.
Vomacka saw that the crisis was universal but "the irresolute programme of Vincent d'Indy, Arnold Schonberg and Richard Strauss offers no way out".
One notable piece of evidence of this relationship is a copy of Haba's Neue Harmonielehre, annotated by Schonberg, to be found in the Arnold Schonberg Center in Vienna.
And there have been three recent exhibitions on the dialogue between Kandinsky and Schonberg: at the Jewish Museum in New York in 2003, at the Arnold Schonberg Center in Vienna in 2000, and at the Beyeler Museum in Basel in 1998--not to mention a show about musical analogy in the work of Kandinsky and his circle at Madrid's Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in 2003.
Many are taken from hitherto unpublished documents in the collection of the Arnold Schonberg Center in Vienna, others from the collections of manuscript letters housed in the Library of Congress, the Pierpont Morgan Library, and elsewhere.
Farben-Klange [Colors-Sounds]: Wassily Kandinsky, Bilder, 1908 bis 1914; Arnold Schonberg, Konzerte und Dokumentation," Fondation Beyeler, Basel, 1998.