Bruckner, (Joseph) Anton (b Ansfelden, 4 September, 1824 - d Vienna, 11 October, 1896)
Bruckner was the son of a village schoolmaster and organist, who was also his first teacher, and for whom, at the age of ten, he deputised. His father died in 1837, and Anton was sent to the St Florian monastery where he was able to study organ, violin, and theory. He too became a schoolmaster-organist and held various village posts until 1845 when he went to teach at St Florian becoming organist there in 1851. It was during these years that he wrote masses, and other sacred works. In 1855 he undertook a counterpoint course in Vienna with the leading theorist, Simon Sechter, and in the same year he was appointed organist at Linz Cathedral. He continued his studies until he was nearly 40, but a turning point to his musical career was coming in contact with Wagner's music.

After Sechter's death in 1868, Bruckner was offered the post of theory teacher at the Vienna Conservatory, which he hesitantly accepted. In the following years, he travelled to Paris and London as an organ virtuoso. In Vienna, he concentrated on writing symphonies, but the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra rejected his first symphony as "wild", his second as "nonsense" and "unplayable", and his third as "unperformable". When the third was first performed it was a fiasco, the fourth was a success, but the fifth had to wait 18 years for a performance, and some of the sixth was never played in Bruckner's lifetime. His friends urged him to make cuts in his scores (or made cuts for him), and his lack of self-confidence led to acquiescence, and to the formal distortion of the works as a result.

Bruckner taught at a teacher-training college between 1870 and 1874, and at Vienna University - after initial opposition - from 1875. It was only in the 1880s that he enjoyed real success, in particular with his seventh symphony, and his music began to be performed in Germany and elsewhere, and he received many honours as well as grants from patrons and the Austrian government. Even in his last years, he was asked to rewrite his eighth symphony, and when he died in 1896 his ninth symphony remained unfinished.