Born Dec. 3, 1883, in Vienna; died Sept. 15, 1945, in Mittersill, near Salzburg. Austrian composer and conductor.
Webern studied musicology under G. Adler at the University of Vienna (1902-06) and composition under A. Schönberg (1904-08). From 1908 he worked as an operatic and symphonic conductor in Austrian and German cities as well as in Prague. He directed the chorus of the Vienna Workers’ Choral Society. During 1927-38, Webern was a conductor on the Austrian radio but was discharged from this position after the establishment of the Nazi regime in Austria.
Webern composed a number of orchestral and chamber works, as well as songs, cantatas, and choral works. An adherent of Schönberg’s atonal school, Webern carried its principles to extreme forms of expression. Maximum refinement of sound is combined in Webern’s music with a rigid structural scheme and an abstractness of concept. His creative work determined the formalistic trends in postwar avant-garde music in the West. Webern’s cycle of conversations Paths to the New Music was published posthumously (1960).
REFERENCESReich, W. A. Webern: Weg und Gestalt. Zürich, 1961.
A. Webern. Vienna, 1955.
Kolneder, W. A. Webern: Einführung in Werk und Stil. Roden- kirchen, 1961.
IU. V. KELDYSH