Biography of Alban Berg (1885-1935)

Composer born in Vienna in a rich and cultured family that gave him his first musical notions. Starting from school stage he began composing lieder and duets. In 1904 he entered the service of the State as a civil servant and that same year his brother taught Schönberg some of his compositions, taking this charge until 1910 his musical formation. First performed under the direction of Schönberg compositions were vocal works, including 7 frühe Lieder, and the collaboration ended with the Lieder, op. 2 and String Quartet, op. 3. together with his master and Webern, Berg embodied the new Viennese School (see second Vienna School), whose expressionist language oriented much of the music from 1910. His interest was distributed between music and literature, being passionate about Ibsen, Strindberg and Maeterlinck, Austrian poets Rosengger, Altenberg and Karl Kraus, as well as the Salomé by Strauss and the 6th Symphony of Mahler, musician who joined a close friendship. The text of Die Büchse der Pandora's Frank Wedeking formed part of his libretto for the opera Lulu. Thanks to a legacy from 1906 he devoted himself completely to music and in 1911 married singer Helena Nahowsky.

In 1910, his works Sonata for piano and 4 Lieder, which can be felt the influence of Schoenberg, and three years later in Vienna their 5 were published in Berlin Lieder with Orchestra. In 1914, after attending a representation of the drama of Georg Büchner's Wozzeck, he decided to make it a musical work, the draft of which was completed in 1921 and the orchestration in 1922. Reduction for piano and Orchestra was printed with the help of Alma Mahler in 1923. This year appeared the first Wozzeck-related articles in various magazines, were premiered in Berlin two of his pieces for Orchestra under the direction of Webern and at the Salzburg Festival was presented with great success his String Quartet. One major triumph was the stems after the premiere of Wozzeck in Frankfurt in 1924 and in Berlin in 1925. Last year ended the concert of Chamber for piano, violin and 13 stringed instruments, written in homage to Schönberg, and began the lyric Suite for String Quartet, the first two works which lasted 12 sound technique. In 1929 Johannes Schüler rode Wozzeck at the teatro Oldengurg, a relatively modest scenario that facilitated the dissemination of the work. By then, Berg was already working on Lulu.

In 1930 he was appointed member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin. The success of his works was dampened at the beginning of that decade by the Nazi cultural policy, which did not respect to Austria. Since then practically he retired to his summer residence in Carinthia, where he composed most of his later works. Only on some occasions he went to festivals or abroad to be part of the jury, and his isolation was such that even stayed away from the premiere of excerpts from Lulu, which was premiered in 1934 at the Staatsoper of Berlin under the direction of Kleiber and opposed by the nazis.While his art has not formed a school, the influence of Berg was noted musicians such as Messiaen, Britten, Dallapiccola and Hartmann.