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Leopold Spinner

Leopold Spinner Photo © Boosey & Hawkes
1906 - 1980


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Leopold Spinner's individualised serial style enriched the Webern tradition in the post-war era * Born of Austrian parents who moved to Vienna in 1914 * Studied privately with Paul Amadeus Pisk 1926-30 * First attracted attention within the Schoenberg circle in early 1930s * Private pupil of Webern from 1935 until the Austrian annexation in 1938 * Fled to England following year but failed to win a hoped-for teaching post * Worked in a Midlands locomotive factory between 1942 and 1946 * Death of Webern in 1945 cut off support of his mentor * Gained employment as an editor at Boosey & Hawkes, working closely with Stravinsky's scores * Isolation as composer deepened when he became critical of the post-Webern Darmstadt school on theoretical grounds * At his death, a neglected figure, ripe for rediscovery * Works championed by Heinz Holliger, Reinbert de Leeuw and Friedrich Cerha and perfomed by Ensemble Modern, Schoenberg Ensemble, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble 20 Jahrhundert, RSO Wien

Works by Leopold Spinner include:
Passacaglia (1934) for chamber orchestra
Piano Concerto (1947) for piano and ensemble
Ricercata (1965) for orchestra
Chamber Symphony (1979) for ensemble
"...a courageous upholder of the values of emotional directness, formal discipline and economy of means associated with a great tradition from which he springs. He is also an important and individual composer in his own right." — Tempo
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